Employer update: COVID-19 restrictions eased

Rebecca Holman

May 07 2021

The end of April 2021 saw an easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions within Northern Ireland.

Close contact services, such as hairdressers, were allowed to reopen to customers on April 23rd. The following week, on April 30th, hospitality businesses, such as pubs, restaurants and cafes were permitted to reopen for outdoor dining services, alongside non-essential retail stores. From May 3rd, 2021, gyms and swimming pools were also permitted to reopen for business.

Pathway out of Restrictions and further easing of restrictions

This lifting of restriction was undertaken in line with the Government guided advice of social distancing measures. All the measures currently in place are part of the Executive’s Pathway out of Restrictions which was announced in March 2021.

It’s anticipated that further easing of restrictions, which should take place on May 24th, will allow for indoor dining and hotels to reopen. However, this is dependent on coronavirus infection rates and the review which the Executive will hold on May 13th.

The Executive reviews are part and practice of the established pathway. The Executive has pledged to review all circumstances every four weeks to ensure that further restrictions can be lifted.

Looking ahead

As the high street begins to open up once more, there will be a need to begin to review the furlough agreements you have in place. You will also have to consider if you’re ready to welcome staff back as normal or move them onto a flexible furlough arrangement.

Need expert guidance when reopening?

Our advisors can provide help and support on contacting your employees and engaging them for the return to normal working practices. To speak with a HR or health & safety expert now, call 0800 917 0771.

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