1,000 spectators to be allowed at Irish Cup final as Covid test event

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Glentoran celebrate Irish Cup win last year.

Q Radio News/PA

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to allow 1,000 spectators to attend the Irish Cup final next week.

Stormont ministers met on Thursday to discuss further relaxations to the coronavirus regulations.

The Irish Cup final is to be a test event, and spectators attending Mourneview Park in Lurgan on Friday, May 21 must undergo a Covid-19 test before attending and afterwards.

The Executive heard that the data around the virus “continues to have a generally positive direction of travel”.

It committed to the re-opening of indoor hospitality on May 24, with mitigations in place. 

That date is to be ratified on May 20.

May 24 is also set to see 500 spectators allowed at sports events, indoor domestic gatherings allowed, inter schools sports events, the reopening of libraries and museums, domestic gatherings indoors and indoor group exercise with limited numbers.

Wedding receptions and post funeral events are also to be allowed indoors, subject to risk assessments.

From June 21, restrictions are to be removed on audiences in seated theatres, concert halls and other venues. 

That date is to be ratified next month.

It is understood that international travel was discussed by ministers but no decisions were taken on that.

There's a match at cup final venue Mourneview Park on Friday night to kick off the weekend football action.

But like the rest of the weekend fixtures it is being played behind closed doors.

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