Causeway Chamber has issued the following statement to Northern Ireland Ministers ahead of The Executive meeting on Thursday 13th May.
We are getting closer to the next stage in the NI Roadmap that will trigger the reopening of more businesses, ahead of the Executive meeting this week, Causeway Chamber urges the Executive to remain focused on the full reopening of the hospitality and tourism sectors on May 24th. The partial opening we have all enjoyed over the past two weeks has helped to start to bring back some kind of normal. We have been delighted to see people return to our towns and villages as retail and non-essential businesses reopened but until hospitality is fully reopened footfall and dwell time will be down which will have an impact on the local economy and jobs. We are simply not open until we are all open.
We call on Ministers to recognise that across Northern Ireland we have worked as a collective to reduce the spread of COVID 19 and protect our NHS, which is now visible in our low number of hospital inpatients with COVID-19. These results are due to high immunity levels, social distancing measures and the roll out of the vaccine programme which we believe can give the Executive increased confidence in continuing with the pathway to recovery.
We encourage the Executive and local Councils to engage fully with us and our members well in advance of reopening to avoid any confusion over regulations and operating requirements. We understand that there will be challenges ahead but we believe that our businesses are committed to delivering their services responsibly. As a business community we are committed to building back the local economy, preserving jobs and livelihoods.