Reacting to the announcement of indicative dates from the Executive on the reopening of the economy, Londonderry Chamber President Dawn McLaughlin said:
“This is a welcome announcement and the first step in the journey back to normality. We are very pleased to see swift movement on the likes of close-contact services from next week and the reopening of all retail by the end of April is very positive. After a tough four months, local retailers and our high streets will welcome the return of customers and shoppers once again.
“It is also a relief that the Executive has listened to the concerns of business today and come to a sensible and workable agreement on the reopening of hospitality and tourism. The reopening of outdoor hospitality, both licenced and unlicenced, by the end of this month is a common sense decision by Ministers and gives businesses ample time to prepare and order stock. While the reopening of indoor hospitality is now planned later than expected, it is crucial that everything is done to make sure that our pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels can reopen on 24th May without any further delay.
“It is also vital that the Executive continues to financially support those businesses and sectors which remain shut until they can stand on their own two feet, that Ministers work hard to provide certainty and clarity for these sectors, and that a strong ‘shop local, support local’ message is adopted which will help our hardest-hit businesses get back on their feet.”