Reacting to the publication of the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery document, Londonderry Chamber President Dawn McLaughlin said:
“While it is encouraging to see the publication of the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery document this afternoon and there is increasing light at the end of the tunnel, the document does little to give businesses cause for optimism or certainty for the coming weeks and months ahead.
“We understand that the Executive consistently said it would be guided by the data, not dates, but businesses still need to be given a firm indication of when they can expect to reopen and start trading again. Today’s document is very disappointing in that respect. They need to be given time to prepare and get ready for opening their doors to customers again, especially as we move into the busy summer period to allow badly-hit businesses the opportunity to fully maximise this important trading period.
“This pathway is a first step in the reopening of our economy and society but businesses urgently need to see much more from the Executive. They need to be given specific guidance on what vaccine or Covid case targets Northern Ireland needs to meet to reopen, under what circumstances they can reopen, and what safeguards and safety measures they need to put in place. With businesses currently at their lowest ebb, both financially and mentally, it is absolutely crucial that we get this right, successfully implement this pathway with firm dates and commitments, and avoid the need for widespread lockdowns in the future.”