Coronavirus: Hairdressers can reopen in NI from 6 July

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Hairdressers in Northern Ireland have been closed since the start of the pandemic in March

Hairdressers and barbers will be able reopen in Northern Ireland on 6 July, Stormont sources have confirmed.

The executive has been meeting to provide indicative dates for further lockdown easing in Northern Ireland.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill had said Thursday would be a “significant day” for more decisions.

BBC News NI also understands the Stormont executive will announce a “pause” on shielding from 31 July.

About 80,000 people in Northern Ireland received letters at the start of the pandemic advising them to self-isolate because of a health condition.

Earlier this month, people shielding were told they could leave their homes with their household or to meet one person from another household.

The first and deputy first ministers are due to address the executive’s press briefing shortly after 16:00 BST.

The Stormont Executive has also agreed that social distancing between children and young people can be reduced to 1m within the education sector.

This is the first significant change on social distancing within the UK.

However, the current guidelines of 2m (6ft) social distancing will continue for adults.

In a letter to school principals, Education Minister Peter Weir said the 1m guidance between children is to be followed as far as possible within the confines of the physical capacity of each classroom, but using the guidance should allow full classes to attend.

It is also understood the executive has agreed changes to the way churches in Northern Ireland can operate. It is believed the changes will take effect on 29 June.

On Wednesday, Arlene Foster and Ms O’Neill held a meeting with church leaders, as part of the executive’s overarching plans for recovery from lockdown.

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