Further easing of restrictions widely welcomed
The Executive’s announcement outlining the easing of restrictions has been widely welcomed by the business sector – in particular retail.
Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said “These decisions are welcome progress toward the full reopening of our local high streets and our wider economy. It is essential for retail footfall that our partners in hospitality are fully reopened”
“We also now need to focus on the safe reopening of our offices and workplaces in our town and city centres, whose staff play such an important role in spending with retail and hospitality”
“While we are moving forward, we continue to urge shoppers and visitors to our town centres to follow the medical guidance in order to keep transmission of the virus down.”
The Executive announced that hospitality will re-open fully, with mitigations, on 24 May. This will be subject to a ratification decision on 20 May.
Covid data continues to have a generally positive direction of travel – although twelve cases of the Indian variant have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.
The Executive statement said “The Executive remains committed to re-opening on 24 May and provided the data remains generally positive, that decision will be ratified. We recognize the steps the sector has taken to be ready for re-opening and it is important that we give clarity as soon as we can.