No Covid deaths as journey out of lockdown continues

No new Covid-related deaths were recorded in NI yesterday as the journey out of lockdown continues to gather pace.

TUI's Sarah Murphy and Liam Mcllwrath  assisting customers checking in for TUI's first flight of 2021, departing from Belfast International Airport to Majorca.
TUI's Sarah Murphy and Liam Mcllwrath assisting customers checking in for TUI's first flight of 2021, departing from Belfast International Airport to Majorca.

A total of 528 people have tested positive for coronavirus as of Monday afternoon, while the previous day (Sunday) there had been 605 positive tests.

The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in the Province stands at 2,158 with the total number of vaccines administered at 2,127,703.

The figures come as holidaymakers jetted off from Belfast International Airport and the hospitality sector reported a boost.

TUI was pleased to see passengers on board its first flight of 2021 on Saturday, from Belfast International Airport to Majorca. The company said it was looking forward to welcoming more NI holidaymakers throughout the summer.

Those travelling from Belfast International Airport are able to get a £60 pre-departure Covid-19 PCR tests at the Randox facility located just outside the terminal entrance.

Meanwhile restaurants, Guinness and spirits have been among the category winners in the early days of the reopening of hospitality in Northern Ireland, according to CGA research.

Drinks sales in May – which included just over three weeks of outside-only service and seven days of indoor trading – were little over half the levels of the same day in 2019, demonstrating the limitations of service that have faced pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

However, some parts of the market have fared better than others. Restaurants’ share of drinks sales in May was up by two percentage points on the same month in 2019, suggesting that some consumers were prioritising food-led occasions as the market reopened.

Within the drinks market, spirits’ share of sales was four percentage points up on May 2019, thanks in part to many drinkers toasting the return of pubs and bars with cocktails and shots.

Stout – a category dominated by Guinness – gained three percentage points year-on-year.

CGA’s Sian Brennan said: “Consumers have been eager to get back to pubs, bars and restaurants in Northern Ireland, and the early sales trends suggest they have been in celebratory mood.

“In line with experiences in Britain and other countries, drinking-out can be expected to gradually settle back towards pre-COVID-19 patterns, but some of the changes in consumers’ behaviour are going to be long lasting.”

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