The wearing of face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in Northern Ireland from 10 July. 

The Stormont Executive has also announced that face coverings will be required in public transport stations. 

There will be exemptions for those who are not able to wear a face covering for health and medical reasons, and for children under the age of 13 as well as outdoor areas of a ferry and school transport. 

Meanwhile, a cross-departmental group will engage with the tour coach and taxi industry to explore extending the requirement to those sectors. 

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said: "As restrictions on our movement are eased, the safety of passengers and staff remains my priority. 

"The evidence suggests that you can reduce the risk of spreading the virus by wearing a face covering. 

"The requirement will apply to passengers and also staff in public areas who are not protected by a screen." 

It comes as the Department of Health confirmed that there has been one further coronavirus linked death reported in Northern Ireland. 

It brings the total number of deaths to 552. 

There were seven new cases of the virus confirmed, bringing the total to 5,768.

In Scotland, the wearing of face coverings is to become mandatory in shops from 10 July, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Coverings are already mandatory on on public transport in Scotland.

Meanwhile, as the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis continues to emerge, a survey from Northern Ireland Chamber has shown that half of all firms intend to reduce staff levels following lockdown.

The study found that some 77% of its members have furloughed workers and 12% have made people redundant. 

Almost a quarter have reduced working hours and many have mentioned salary reductions. 

A fifth implied that their businesses may not survive. 

Ann McGregor, chief executive of Northern Ireland Chamber, said: "This survey reflects the fall-out of arguably the worst economic and social crisis of our lifetime. 

"In terms of the economy, the vast majority of indicators dropped to historic lows, with declines far exceeding those seen at the height of the global financial crisis." 

The services sector suffered particularly badly, with consumer-facing firms most acutely exposed to economic headwinds from the pandemic, the business leader added. 

The survey found the biggest change was in the proportion of companies intending to introduce flexible working (62%) but also almost one in four (23%) said they intended to reduce office space. 

The chamber added: "One in two members (52%) highlighted their intention to reduce staff levels post Covid-19." 

Seven in 10 members (69%) believe their prospects will deteriorate over the next 12 months. 

Almost one in four believe their business will grow over the coming year.