EAST Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has welcomed the news that small shops will be able to open in Northern Ireland from Friday (June 12).
This will cover all non-essential shops and will be contingent on retailers being able to ensure social distancing rules remain.
Local retailers contacted the MLA seeking clarity on whether or not they were allowed to recommence trading. Ms Sugden said this news would now provide that clarity.
“This is excellent news for all small retailers, many of which were forced to close nearly three months ago,” said the independent MLA.
“It’s been a tough time for everyone, but this will bring a boost to the economy and return a semblance of normality to people’s lives when they can visit their favourite shops.”
She believed retailers and the public would be responsible in developing, overseeing and adhering to social distancing measures that worked for each particular shop.
Government should, however, continue to support businesses – both financially and with clear guidance over how they deal with the challenges ahead.
The relaxation of the rules is contingent on there being no increase in the spread of COVID-19 by Thursday (June 11).