Reacting to the Executive’s announcement that further relaxations can go ahead from Monday 24 May, Londonderry Chamber President Dawn McLaughlin said:
“It’s good news that the Executive has rubber stamped its decision from last week and paved the way for the further reopening of the economy from Monday. We have been consistent in our message that we aren’t fully open until we’re all open. The high street and city centre businesses are reliant on each other to thrive so it is great news that indoor hospitality and other indoor businesses like cinemas will be allowed to reopen. We can now begin to look towards the busy summer period and our economic recovery.
“However, there remains some ambiguity and grey areas within the hospitality industry over what is exactly required of them to reopen, especially in the absence of any published regulations or guidelines yet. It’s important that the relevant authorities take a lenient and educational approach which supports our hospitality businesses and doesn’t punish them any further, especially as many of them have invested time and money in making their premises Covid-secure.”
“These latest relaxations coupled with the continued success of the vaccine programme, which has been expanded even further today, bring a real sense of optimism and positivity for the coming weeks and months. Businesses are excited to reopen and welcome back customers and we would urge people to stay, shop and support local as they get back out and about. It’s also crucial that we continue to follow the basics of mask wearing, hand washing, good ventilation, and social distancing to keep cases down and ensure the economy isn’t restricted again.”