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The Executive met today and have made some small relaxations of the present  Covid-19 restrictions.

You can now have up to 15 people from different households in a domestic outdoor setting. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

From 26 July outdoor domestic settings will be less restrictive and close contact services will not need to keep an appointment system.

Domestic settings

At outdoor domestic settings a maximum of 15 people from an unlimited number of households will be permitted. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total number.

Close contact services

Within close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers the requirement for an appointment will be removed and overlapping appointments will be allowed.

We expect to have more data and advice available next week and the emerging information will help to inform the way forward on future relaxations.

The remaining issues still awaiting ratification will be discussed further at Executive meetings scheduled for Monday and Thursday of next week.

Vaccination remains a critical issue. A 5% increase in adult vaccine uptake from 85% to 90% will result in an approximately 50% decrease in cases and community admissions at the peak of this wave. We ask everyone to please come forward and take up both doses of the vaccine.

As always, we also ask everyone to continue following the public health advice to help keep yourself, and everyone else, safe.

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