The Executive recently published its plan for moving out of lockdown. Unlike England and the Republic of Ireland, the plan does not include a timeline.
Despite the lack of a timeline, First Minister Arlene Foster is hoping to reach the final stage by December.
So, what are the five phases of the recovery strategy?
- Those unable to work from home will be encouraged to return to work on a phased basis.
- Large outdoor-based retailers such as garden centres can reopen. However, associated cafes and restaurants can only offer takeaway or collection.
- Groups of four to six people who don’t live in the same house will be allowed to meet outdoors once they adhere to social distancing measures. With the exception of people who are shielding, visits to immediate family will be allowed indoors where social distancing is possible.
- Outdoor spaces and public sport amenities can reopen. For example, walking, cycling, some water activities, etc.
- Drive-through church services and churches can open for private prayer. Appropriate social distancing and cleaning of shared contact hard surfaces must be maintained. Drive-through cinemas can also reopen.
- Non-food retailers can open with limited numbers and social distancing.
- Groups of up to 10 can meet outdoors.
- Demand is expected to increase for public transport within social distancing requirements People will be encouraged to walk or cycle for short journeys where possible.
- Team sports training will resume on a non-contact basis in small groups.
- Selected libraries reopen with restricted services, while open-air museums also reopen.
- A phased return to office and on-site working will be allowed subject to risk assessment. Work that can be done from home should continue as so.
- Schools expand provision for priority groups on a part-time basis. This will be done through a combination of in-school and remote learning.
- Gatherings of up to 30 people will be allowed once people maintain social distancing measures.
- Team sports training will resume on a non-contact basis.
- Concert and theatre rehearsals will resume.
- Galleries, museums and libraries will reopen.
- Other ‘contact’ retail such as hairdressers and fitness studios can reopen subject to risk assessment.
- Schools will expand provision to accommodate all pupils on a part-time basis by combining in-school and remote learning.
- Reduction and staggering of demand for public transport at peak times through continued home working and staggered start times for businesses.
- Wider range of gatherings to be permitted. This will include church services subject to social distancing and cleaning of hard surfaces.
- Resumption of competitive sport behind closed doors or with a limited number of spectators.
- Leisure centres and other indoor leisure facilities open, as well as outdoor concerts on restricted basis.
- People will be able to return to work subject to mitigations. Remote working will still be strongly encouraged.
- Hospitality retail such as restaurants, cafes and pubs can reopen subject to risk assessment. This will initially be on a limited basis.
- Expand early-year school provision to full-time basis.
- Public transport will return to full service but subject to ongoing risk assessment.
- People can meet in extended groups but must maintain social distancing.
- Return to competitive and close physical contact sport and full use of sporting facilities.
- Spectators can attend live events on a restricted basis.
- Venues such as nightclubs can reopen. Concerts will also open on a limited basis.
When your business can reopen will depend on which Stage it falls into. Furthermore, these Stages are subject to change.
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