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Good News Friday – All Covid-19 restrictions eased for local businesses!

It’s Good News Friday as this week we celebrate the relaxation of all remaining Covid-19 restrictions!

After two tumultuous years, we are finally beginning to put the pandemic behind us, with some form of normality returning. This time last year, we were in the middle of one of our toughest periods as the January lockdown lingered on. Now, optimism and revitalization are the watchwords for the year ahead as Covid-19 is put in the rear-view mirror.

The extent of the pandemic’s long-term impact is not yet known but getting back to pre-Covid figures will not happen overnight. Footfall in our high streets is still lagging, and an easement of the work-from-home message would bring a much-needed boost to our town and city centres. And while restrictions have eased, two years of lockdowns have certainly knocked public confidence in visiting their local retailer or hospitality venue.

Spring is a time of growth, and recovery and rebuild of our economy and hard-hit businesses must be a top priority. The lack of a functioning Executive is providing unnecessary stability and uncertainty at a time when we require strong political leadership. Covid-19 has stalled progress in major developments like the expansion of Magee, increased and improved rail provision, and the full roll-out of City Deal; all which must be prioritised following May’s Assembly election.

Reacting to the relaxation of remaining restrictions, Chamber Chief Executive, Paul Clancy, said, “This is a momentous day for business and communities in Northern Ireland. After nearly two full years of restrictions on the way our businesses can trade and how we all operate in society, it’s welcome to see these pandemic regulations lifted. While measures like social distancing have been crucial in tackling the pandemic, they have come at considerable cost and impact to businesses of all kinds.”

The Chamber would like to wish all members well in the coming weeks and months as Covid-19 rules have ended. Any support or assistance you require, please do not hesitate to get in touch.