Business lobby group hails relaxation of Covid restrictions for NI high streets

A major business lobby group has warmly hailed plans to re-open much of the Province’s high streets.

By Adam Kula
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 7:02 pm
Shoppers on Royal Avenue, Belfast city centre
Shoppers on Royal Avenue, Belfast city centre

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, headed by Aodhan Connolly, issued a statement moments ago – before there is official confirmation from the government about the easing of restrictions.

The News Letter has been aware of rumours all day about the possible relaxation of Covid curbs, but at time of writing there had been no news confirmed by the Executive.

The retail consortium statement reads as follows: “The reopening of non-essential retail is very welcome news.

“It won’t make up for the loss of two weeks trading during what is our golden quarter especially when retailers already had been feeling the squeeze of decreased footfall and increased costs but it is still welcome.

“We have always said it is not about what you sell but how you sell it and by the end of the year the retail industry will have invested over £15 million in Northern Ireland to make stores safe. We will continue to play our part but we will need continued support from the Executive.

“This week has proven that no-one in retail is immune from the economic effects of the pandemic.

“Businesses must adequately supported in the coming months as we not only face the Covid virus but the end of the Brexit transition period.

“We also need customers to play their part to keep everyone safe.

“Please try to shop at less busier times, continue to wash your hands, keep your distance even when queueing and please wear face covering in store.

“And leave extra time for your shopping. Working together we can get through this and make the most of Christmas.”

Click here for exclusive analysis of the damage done to our country, and the possible lives lost due to poverty, by the anti-viral lockdown: Counting cost of Covid curbs: 30,000 NI job losses by end of 2020 predicts top economist– OFFER: We have a 30 per cent off subscription offer for the News Letter website which runs until midnight on Friday; visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up –

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe

Editor