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All goods retailers can re-open from today following a decision made yesterday by the Northern Ireland Executive.

The decision means that once appropriate safety measures and social distancing procedures are in operation, retailers can open. While some will be able to re-open today others will take a phased approach.

Economy Minister Dianne Dodds said: "This is a further step in getting the economy moving again. I would urge people to be considerate when they go shopping, and to think of others to ensure the safety of themselves and also the many staff returning to work.

"Please follow signs and instructions which will have been put in place to protect everyone."

The Minister added that all stores must adhere to the relevant safety measures and ensure social distancing is maintained.

Chamber - Rebuilding Confidence

Welcoming the opening of businesses from today, Newry Chamber President, Emma Marmion-Mullen said “Today is the first important step on the road to reopening our local economy.  It has been a challenging time for local businesses, but we now can slowly begin rebuilding confidence in our local economy. 

Ms Marmion-Mullen added “We would not be where we are today without the efforts of those who have worked through the COVID 19 emergency. On behalf of the business community I would like to thank those working in our hospitals and care homes, our essential services, the many volunteers and community workers looking after those in need and, of course, those working hard to produce food for our tables and the shops that remained open to ensure we didn’t go short on essentials.

“The road to recovery will be challenging. The financial support measures from the UK Government and the Executive have helped businesses to survive and keep people in employment. Equally our businesses have been innovative in how they responded to the challenge of COVID 19.

The Chamber President added that a stimulus package from the NI Executive is now needed and said the package should include investment in our Infrastructure, improvement  of our digital network, support for innovation and R&D, a skills agenda  which maximises the talent of our young people and support for our businesses to access new markets.

Buttercrane Final Touches

Buttercrane Centre will also see the phased reopening of non-essential retailers over the next ten days. 

Peter Murray Centre Manager said: “Stores are responding as quickly as possible to this afternoon’s news and are working behind the scenes on staff training, deep cleaning and putting the final touches to adapting store layouts for reopening. 

“We would anticipate that from Monday 15th June,  the number of non-essential retailers open will increase on a daily basis and add to the list of trading stores. Please appreciate this is a very fluid situation and we will endeavour to update customers as soon more stores are added to  the ‘now open’ list.

“At this stage it’s important to note that, we have no known dates from the centre’s large anchor tenants Primark or Dunnes Stores to reopen -  given that they have hundreds of staff returning to work -  all of whom are subject to pre start protocols. They are working swiftly to be able to welcome customers and staff in a safe way. We appreciate your patience over the entire Lockdown period and we look forward to welcoming you back to Buttercrane, here in the heart of Newry City.”

Quays Re-Opening

The Quays Shopping Centre will also see changes in the number of shops opening but again all will not open all at once.

Stores open today include stores that remained open: Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer, Poundland, Cunningham’s Butcher, Medical Hall and Bravo Live (Takeaway only) 5-11 while Debenhams, Boots, Houston’s and O’Neill’s are now added to that list.

 

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