The Northern Ireland Executive has set an indicative date of September 21 for the reopening of wet pubs.

Pubs will open again providing circumstances permit and with strict adherence to guidance, regulation and approriate enforcement.

Junior Ministers Gordon Lyons and Declan Kearney met with the hospitality sector earlier in the week to discuss the opening of bars. Officials with bring forward proposals to a future Executive meeting to enable those who are acting responsibly to open alongside a workable enforcement regime.

The Executive also agreed that soft play areas can open on 14 September in line with the indicative date. Soft play area providers will need to comply with Regulations including preparing risk assessments. Guidance for the sector will soon be published on

The Executive has also decdied to introduce a series of localised restrictions in Northern Ireland to stem the increase of Covid-19 in a number of areas.

Belfast City Council area, postcode area BT28 and BT29 and the town of Ballymena and postcode area BT43 have all had restrictions imposed. There were no restrictions imposed in Fermanagh.

The localised restrictions will be in place for a minimum of two weeks, after which they will be reviewed. Postcode areas may be added and removed from the local restrictions as patterns of infection change and further interventions and restrictions can be introduced as necessary.

The restrictions are being applied for postcodes which currently have levels of Covid cases at or above those where local restrictions have been imposed elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.

The Executive had the option of applying restrictions to the whole of the province.

However, there is a marked variation in the incidence of cases in different localities.

It is hoped that a geographically targeted approach will help create a clear incentive for widespread compliance with public health advice.