International travel expected to dominate Stormont Executive discussions

International travel is likely to dominate discussions at the Stormont Executive later.

With many hoping to be able to jet away for foreign holidays following a lengthy lockdown, ministers will consider what guidance to issue over travel to various countries as well as discuss the next planned relaxations to the coronavirus regulations.

In Great Britain, there is a “green list” of destinations which includes Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands – plus several small remote islands which are British Overseas Territories.

Travellers returning from a country or territory on that list will not need to quarantine, and will only be required to take one post-arrival coronavirus test.

Passengers arriving from amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days and take two tests.

No decisions have yet been made around international travel in Northern Ireland.

Coronavirus – Fri Apr 30, 2021
Members of the public enjoy a drink and a meal in Belfast (Mark Marlow/PA)

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, indoor hospitality and being able to meet inside private homes for the first time in five months are among the measures that had been announced with an indicative date of May 24.

The Executive will review these previously announced decisions on Thursday.

These include allowing up to six people from no more than two households to meet in a private dwelling and stay overnight, as well as outdoor gatherings with no more than 500 people and the reopening of all tourism accommodation.

Indoor hospitality with table service only was also given an indicative reopening date of May 24, as well as the return of indoor group exercise and the reopening of indoor visitor and cultural attractions, such as museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor play areas, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, bingo halls and libraries.

The latest health data around the virus is likely to be considered during deliberations.

On Wednesday, no further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland were announced, but another 107 positive cases were confirmed.

A number of cases of the Indian variant of the virus have been confirmed in the region within the last number of weeks.