Phase two of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions is likely to get the go ahead today.

Cabinet ministers are expected to approve the next step of the lifting of restrictions with some measures brought forward to earlier than expected.

Its expected phase two will get the go ahead today.

It would mean that from Monday non-essential retail shops can open, including larger retailers such as IKEA - a measure brought forward from phase three.

This will exclude stores in shopping centres and they will need to have a ground level open entrance.

Its expected playgrounds will also be allowed to re-open.

A system for people to be able to visit relatives in nursing homes is also being examined.

Under phase two people will be allowed to meet in groups of four inside someone's home as long as social distancing is maintained.

The 5km limit on travel and exercise will be extended from 5 to 20 kilometres.

Sports teams will be allowed to return to training but not to play matches; while the number of people attending a funeral will increase though will still be capped.

Health Minister Simon Harris said late last night that the easing of measures will likely include something for the two groups he believes have been disproportionately impacted by this crisis, children and the elderly.

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