Retail can re-open from 30th April – Retail NI welcomes Executive Covid-19 Relaxations

Retail can re-open from 30th April – Retail NI welcomes Executive Covid-19 Relaxations

The Northern Ireland Executive announced the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. From 30th April, all retail can re-open, the curfew on takeaways will be lifted. Car washes are also able to re-open.

There has been mixed reactions to the announcements. The next formal review of restrictions by the NI Executive won’t take place until May 13.

‘Fantastic news’

Retail NI’s Glyn Roberts said it is to be welcomed that non-essential retail  finally has a date to re-open.

“This is a significant step forward for the re-opening of our high streets, out local economy and is fantastic news for thousands of small businesses.

“Covid marshals and agreed Covid compliance signage all need to be in place ahead of the re-opening to ensure customers that our high streets are safe to return to and also to reduce levels of virus transmission. The Executive needs to work with industry groups and councils in preparation for the re-opening of our high streets.”

Landmark day

 First Minister Arlene Foster said: “This is a landmark day for Northern Ireland as we step firmly and with confidence on our pathway to recovery.

“I am pleased and proud that through our collective efforts we have reached a point where we have established a good level of control over the virus.

‘Bit brighter’

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Today, the light at the end of the tunnel has just got a little bit brighter.

“This is a day of positive progress. We have agreed a significant package of easements which will make a fundamental difference to people’s lives and wellbeing.

“The restrictions have been a necessary response to the pandemic, to suppress the virus and save lives.

“But they have taken their toll on people right across our society. I’m delighted that we are now in a position to move forward, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of the public and the success of our vaccination programme.

“We can all take comfort from this progress and look forward to doing the things that are important to us while keeping ourselves and others as safe as possible.”

‘Better summer’

Health Minister Robin Swann warned “Every one of us has a part to play in maintaining progress – by getting vaccinated when our turn comes and by sticking with the actions that have served us well for the past year – including social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands. It’s also vital to remember that outdoor settings are significantly safer than indoors.

“As we look forward to a better summer, we must not lose sight of the fact that the virus is still a threat. The more we increase vaccination uptake rate, the more we strengthen our defences.

“The Executive’s phased and gradual approach to easing restrictions is the right one. Opening everything up at the same time would not be the responsible way forward. We must not jeopardise the progress we have made.”

The next formal review of the Coronavirus regulations under the Pathway out of Restrictions will be carried out on May 13, 2021.