NI Executive reveals phased lockdown exit plan

Ministers for Northern Ireland’s devolved government have announced phased plans to take the country out of its current lockdown restrictions.

Yesterday (2 March), the Executive agreed on a final version of the ‘Pathway to Recovery’ strategy, which will focus on reopening key areas of the economy, such as retail and hospitality businesses, in a phased capacity.

Stormont confirmed that decisions to reopen parts of the economy will be led on data-based evidence.

Currently, Northern Ireland’s lockdown is in place until 1 April, with ministers set to review that policy on 16 March.

After this announcement, Wales is the last country in the UK to announce its lockdown exit plan.

Michelle O’Neill, deputy first minister, said: “We must do everything we can to try to make this one the last lockdown, with the underpinning insurance policy that this Executive will take the steps needed to protect the health service.

“Taking all these factors together, we can take some tentative preparatory steps towards the lifting of restrictions. But great care is still needed.”

She added: “That is why the Executive has agreed today a careful, cautious and hopeful approach to existing restrictions.”

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