NEW Coronavirus regulations are coming into place as society begins to gradually reopen following the latest wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Among the changes has been the permitted return to in-church worship, which allowed some worshippers to return to religious services on Sunday.

Welcoming the change and the return of worshippers, Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, of St. Michael's, Enniskillen, said: “We are particularly glad to be open for Holy Week.

“It is the high point of the church year, celebrating the faith that helps us to live life with hope, love and energy in the face of suffering, failing, selfishness and death.

“Community is very central to our celebrations – something which we have had to find in new ways during the lockdown.

"That is why having people present, even in limited numbers and subject to rigorous provisions for health and safety, is important for us as a faith community."

Some retailers that sell certain goods – such as clothes, shoes and electrical goods – have been able to operate 'click and collect' for a few weeks now.

One such retailer is Julie Kenwell, of Osborne & Co. She said: “Since we have been able to offer pick-up shopping in store, we have noticed the number of postal orders dropping slightly in favour of picking up at our door, but we are still turning out a number of parcels each day to customers living outside this area, which is incredibly encouraging for us.”

Like other retailers, Julie is waiting on the Northern Ireland Executive to decide on a date for the full reopening of the retail sector.

She said: “We have had customers coming to the door asking if we are open, and if we know when we are going to be open.

“Unfortunately, the answer is no to both questions. We will find out when we can open at the exact same time as everyone else.”

There is still much uncertainty about when some parts of society can reopen. The current restrictions will be reviewed by the Northern Ireland Executive on April 15.

From today, April 1, the existing regulations change to:

• Permitting 10 people from two households to undertake outdoor sporting activities as defined in the regulations. This allows sports such as golf and tennis to resume from this date in small groups of individuals from two households; however, clubhouses and sport facilities including changing rooms, showers, kitchens and meeting rooms must remain closed, apart from essential toilet facilities.

• Up to six people (including children) from two households may meet outdoors in a garden.

• Garden centres and plant nurseries can operate a contactless click and collect service.

The Executive also agreed an indicative date of April 12 for the following:

• Increasing the numbers who can meet outdoors in a garden from six to 10 people (including children) from two households;

• Allowing contactless click and collect service for all non-essential retail;

• Allowing for sports training to resume by sports clubs affiliated with recognised governing bodies, in small groups of up to 15 people but with all indoor spaces closed except for essential toilet facilities; and

• The removal of the ‘stay at home’ provision in the legislation; stronger promotion of the 'stay local' and 'work from home' messages.