The Northern Ireland Executive has published its approach to reopening the economy following lockdown restrictions.

The plan outlines how restrictions can be eased across nine different pathways, including retail, hospitality, education etc. The document, published on Tuesday 2 March, does not stipulate a timetable for moving through each phase of the restrictions.

However, dates for the review of restrictions have been set out, with the next review set to take place on 16 March and every four weeks thereafter. Discussing the Executive’s approach, the reopening plan says: “While the Executive will formally review and make decisions on restrictions every four weeks, our monitoring cycle provides us with the ability to move more rapidly on emerging priorities should the need arise before the next review point.”

Retail and services pathway

The retail sector is currently in stage 1 of plan’s 5-stage approach to reopening the sector, which involves the closure of non-essential retail, including click and collect. Stage 2 of the plan would see non-essential ‘click & collect’ resume, as well as driving tests and lessons. The sector would be permitted to reopen in stage 3.

The full plan, as well as a summary version, can be found on the NI Executive’s website.