It’s Good News Friday as we celebrate the Executive’s announcement of further Covid easements!
In recent weeks, retail, hospitality, and other sectors have faced significant staffing challenges posed by Covid-19 self-isolation rules. It is very welcome that, from Monday, people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days if they have a close-contact who tests positive for Covid-19 if they test negative. We hope this will provide local businesses with much-needed flexibility to keep their staffing levels secure.
We are also delighted to see restrictions on hospitality easing. From Monday, the limit of numbers permitted at tables will be removed, with the “rule-of-six” being scrapped. This will give our local restaurants and pubs here greater freedom to safely bring more customers back into their premises. While the 1m social distancing rule in hospitality settings remains, we hope that further easements can take place over the next weeks and months.
Since the pandemic began, each of us have faced unprecedented challenges affecting every aspect of our personal and working lives. Speaking yesterday, First Minister Paul Givan has said he hoped for a decision to lift all restrictions by the end of September, and that the “justification for regulations is diminishing”. We have been through so much in the last 15 months, and it is fantastic to see light at the end of the tunnel, whenever that may be.
With Covid-19 restrictions easing, the High Street Voucher Scheme set to be launched next month, and the continued investment into the local economy here, we are confident that the future is bright for the North West business community.