Some cheer for Northern Ireland as we head into summer with reopening dates out of lockdown

News Letter editorial of Saturday April 17 2021:

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 9:12 am
Updated Saturday, 17th April 2021, 10:10 am
News Letter editorial

This week Stormont finally gave dates for the reopening of key types of business.

After an agonisingly slow political response to the improving health situation, driven by the UK’s vaccine rollout success, on Thursday ministers in the executive said that hairdressers will be among the services to open next Friday.

Outdoor hospitality and gyms will follow the week after that, when 15 people will be allowed to meet in a garden.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

By late May, indoor hospitality will follow, although this latter re-opening will be dependent on the data.

For most of the last year Northern Ireland has been in some form of lockdown and without normal schooling.

The restrictions have worst had the worst economic impact on people employed in certain sectors; the worst lifestyle impact on people who cannot work from home; the worst psychological impact on people who do not have gardens or who lack social networks or are in unhappy relationships; and the worst educational impact on pupils who do not have supportive guardians or access to computers.

Covid remains a real risk. People should strive to maintain social distancing even if they have had their jab. A return to normality should not mean fully normal behaviour.

The problem is that the lockdown has been so long-lasting and has caused such wide-ranging damage of its own that if goes on much longer there is a real risk it could inflict as much harm on society as the virus itself.

——— ———

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. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

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