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Delta variant concerns delay easing of Northern Ireland's Covid restrictions

A planned easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland has been pushed back to 5 July amid concerns over the Delta variant.

The North's Executive Office said the speed at which the variant, first identified in India, is spreading across the community is "very worrying".

Measures including a return of live music and removing the limits on numbers at outdoor gatherings were planned to be introduced on Monday.

However, they have now been pushed back until 5 July, with a review of the situation to take place on 1 July.

"This increase in the Delta variant, and the speed at which it is spreading across the community, is very worrying," a statement from the Executive Office said.

"Evidence from other jurisdictions, where the variant is

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