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Small shops and non-essential retail in Northern Ireland can reopen from Friday.

Ministers have met and agreed to further changes for retailers. They are due to hold another meeting on Thursday to assess long-term strategies to help Northern Ireland return to normality in the safest possible way.

Mrs Diane Dodds has said:

“It was agreed that as long as retailers can adhere to the necessary safety measures, and there is no increase in the spread of the virus by Thursday, then these shops can reopen”

Simon Hamilton, the Chief Executive of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce has described the announcement as a ‘huge step in the right direction’

It is also understood that during the meeting, ministers discussed whether wearing face masks on public transport should be made mandatory, however no decision on this has been made.

From yesterday (Monday 8 June), large retailers and shops in retail parks have been allowed to reopen. And in the Republic of Ireland all non-essential retail was also allowed to reopen, which added pressure for ministers to allow a reopening of smaller and non-essential retailers in Northern Ireland.

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