The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed that more Covid-19 restrictions can be lifted on 26 July.

First Minister Paul Givan said this would be a "very significant day for Northern Ireland".

However, it is an indicative date and will be subject to ratification by Stormont Ministers on 22 July.

From 26 July, theatres will be allowed to reopen, while conferences and exhibitions can also resume.

Social distancing rules will change from two metres to one metre indoors and will be lifted entirely in outdoor settings.

Limits on the number of people who can meet at a private household and in private gardens will increase.

The mandatory wearing of face masks in places of worship and classrooms will be removed from regulations. There are also some changes around travel restrictions.

Anyone in Northern Ireland who has been fully vaccinated will not have to self-isolate on return from an Amber list country.

Speaking this evening, the Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said this was a "cautious approach" to reopening and that she stands over comments that she believes the approach of Boris Johnson in England is "reckless".

She said the Executive took decisions based on the data in Northern Ireland.

Mr Givan said the DUP would have liked to see some restrictions lifted immediately rather than 26 July. He said there was no consensus on this among ministers.

The Executive will meet again on 12 August, with a view to further lifting restrictions on 16 August.

Mr Givan said that removing requirements for the mandatory wearing of face masks and social distancing would be discussed at the meeting on 12 August.

Mr Givan said any decisions at that time would be informed by the data at the time but that Northern Ireland is "well on the way in terms of a road map out of these restrictions before the end of the summer".

Ms O'Neill said that there will be 3-week blocks between each set of discussions around easing restrictions.

Mr Givan said that there was positive data around the reduced number of people dying from Covid-19.

He said while transmission is increasing, the link between the virus and people dying has been "considerably weakened".

The leaders encouraged the public to continue to come forward for their vaccines.