Leaked NI reopening dates are NOT what was proposed by NI Economy Minister Diane Dodds, says business group following meeting

Leaked reopening dates for Northern Ireland’s move out of lockdown are not what was proposed in a paper by Economy Minister Diane Dodds, a group representing pubs and restaurants has said.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 10:46 am
Updated Thursday, 15th April 2021, 11:11 am

Hospitality Ulster made the comments following a meeting with the minister this morning.

In a tweet, the industry body said: “Following a meeting with Minister Diane Dodds it is our understanding that the leaked dates do not reflect the dates proposed by the Economy Minister.”

Hospitality Ulster added: “The Executuve must now step up and save the livelihoods of 72,000 people with data driven dates.”

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Economy Minister Diane Dodds

Those comments come as Belfast Chamber of Commerce warn of “anguish and upset” from businesses about what they described as the “rumoured” opening dates.

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More on the Belfast Chamber’s reaction can be found here: Simon Hamilton: ‘Anguish and upset’ for businesses as NI reopening dates ‘fall far short’--------

It has been reported by both the Press Association news agency and by the BBC that the relaxation of lockdown under consideration by the Executive today is as follows:

– April 23

Close contact services, hairdressers and beauty salons, reopen.

Outdoors visitors attractions reopen.

Driving lessons can resume. Theory and practical driving tests resume.

Outdoor competitive sport will be allowed with numbers not exceeding 100. No spectators allowed.

Equine assisted learning and therapy can take place outdoors, limited to ten people.

– April 30

All remaining non-essential retail to reopen.

Self-contained tourist accommodation, such as caravans and rented holiday homes can operate.

– May 10

Licensed and unlicensed premises can serve customers in outdoors settings in groups of six from no more than two householders.

Removal of curfews on takeaways and off licenses.

Reopening of gyms.

– May 14

Wedding receptions and post-burial events can take place in indoor hospitality venues, limited to 30 people.

Limit on outdoor gatherings in domestic gardens increased to 15 people from no more than three households.

– Not before June 1

Licensed and unlicensed premises can operate indoors.

Hotels reopen.

Domestic mixing allowed in indoor settings.

Indoors visitor attractions reopen.

Return of indoor group exercise, with numbers limited to suit the size of venue.