Bad news for hairdressers, barbers and musicians as these restrictions cannot proceed without a new First Minister

People all over Northern Ireland will suffer the consequences in the coming days if the Northern Ireland Executive fails to approve a new First Minister.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 6:03 pm

Last Thursday the then First Minister, Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill, told the media that the Northern Ireland Executive had agreed, in principle, to a further easing of restrictions e.g. live music, close contact services could accept customers who had not booked in advance and the number of people from different households permitted to meet up indoors.

The Executive approved the easing of the restrictions but full ratification would not be possible until June 17 (tomorrow) when the Executive would officially approve the changes which were due to be eased on Monday June 21.

There is a degree of doubt that this will happen as the Executive cannot meet until a new First Minister and deputy First Minister are formally selected.

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Hairdressers and other close contact service providers may have to wait a while longer before they can accept customers who do not have an appointment.
Hairdressers and other close contact service providers may have to wait a while longer before they can accept customers who do not have an appointment.

Northern Ireland has been without a First Minister since Arlene Foster resigned on Monday afternoon.

The DUP officially named Paul Givan MLA, as their selection to become the new First Minister but he requires cross-community support from Sinn Fein before he can officially take up the role.

Sinn Fein are refusing to back Mr. Givan until the DUP commits to delivering Irish language legislation.

Providing there is not a spectacular breakthrough in the next 24 hours, the easing of restrictions agreed to by the Executive last Thursday will not be ratified tomorrow.

The restrictions that the Executive were due ease tomorrow included:

- The end of appointment only business for close contact services e.g. hairdressers, barbers and people working in nail salons.

- The return of live music.

- Theatres and concert halls.

- The number of people permitted at an outdoor gathering determined by risk assessment.

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