EAST Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has welcomed the timetable for more businesses to reopen, but urged the government to soon provide further advice on how to do so safely.
Businesses such as gyms, sport and recreation organisations, beauty salons and libraries were on Thursday among those given provisional dates for reopening by the Northern Ireland Executive.
The move was a step in the right direction in giving clarity to businesses who sought guidance over reopening, Ms Sugden said. More advice was, however, required to make sure business owners felt comfortable and confident they were opening in the safest way for customers and staff.
“It’s great news for businesses that have been left in the dark until now. The uncertainty over when people could get their businesses up and running again brought anxiety and stress to many, but this will now provide businesses with an element of certainty.
“It’s also good news for people who have missed going to the gym or getting their nails done. As we know, going to the gym – and, yes, even getting your nails done – can improve people’s mental health; something lockdown has put pressure on for the past few months.
“But these businesses still need guidance on what measures to put in place – things like what PPE is best for their business; how many staff they can operate with; what sanitisation procedures need to be followed and; how many customers can they take at one time.
“In order for them to open on time and safely, this guidance needs to be given as soon as possible.”