NORTHERN Ireland is set to let six people meet INDOORS in the biggest lockdown ease yet.
Boris Johnson is now under pressure to follow suit and support such a change in England, if ministers agree the change today.
At the moment in England, groups of six maximum are allowed to meet outside – but anyone who doesn’t live together has to keep 2m apart.
BBQs, garden parties and picnics in the park are on, but dinner parties and indoor raves are still off.
Evidence shows that the rate of transmission outside is far lower, which is why the Government feels able to make the changes.
In places with lower ventilation, or indoors, the virus is able to spread much more easily.
Stormont ministers are considering further easing of Northern Ireland’s lockdown today – but they are likely to still have to keep a 2m distance.
The PM’s spokesperson was asked about whether he would make the same changes this week.
He replied: “In terms of the next steps in the roadmap, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow when the PM will set out the detail to Parliament.”
The final decision for Northern Ireland will be taken at a meeting of the executive on Monday afternoon, and will depend on the latest evidence on the suppression of the disease.
The suppression of the virus in the region has prompted Stormont ministers to quicken Northern Ireland’s exit out of lockdown.
On Saturday, Northern Ireland’s heath trust labs reported no new confirmed cases of coronavirus for the first time since lockdown.
There was one coronavirus-linked death announced on Saturday and none announced on Sunday.
Earlier this month, ministers approved the creation of indoor social bubbles involving one person living on their own and another household, without the need for social distancing restrictions – just like in England.
From June 26, caravan parks, campsites and self-contained tourist accommodation will be able to reopen in Northern Ireland.
A week later, on July 3, hotels, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pubs and bars will be able to welcome customers back.
A provisional date for hair salons, barbers and nail bars to reopen has been set for July 6, too.
Boris has yet to confirm if holidays, haircuts and pub trips will be allowed in England from July 4 as planned.
An announcement is expected on this tomorrow in the House of Commons.
Boris is also set to expand England’s “bubble” policy in England later this week.
He is finalising details of whether to allow households of two people to be able to team up with another.
That means grandparents will finally be able to reunite with grandchildren after months apart.
They can hug, go inside each other’s homes, and even stay overnight.