Hospitality and retail outlets reopen as NI takes major step out of lockdown

Northern Ireland has taken a major stride out of lockdown as many hospitality and retail outlets reopened their doors after four months of closure. Publicans, cafe owner and restaurateurs are now able to trade outdoors, while all non-essential retailers can pull their shutters up once again. There were long queues outside popular retail outlets such as Primark in Belfast from early on Friday morning as hundreds of shoppers returned to the city centre. Economy Minister Diane Dodds welcomed the relaxations on an early morning visit to Belfast’s Victoria Square shopping centre. Mrs Dodds also highlighted that the Stormont Executive’s delayed high street voucher scheme is set to start operating at the end of the summer, with every adult in Northern Ireland eligible for a £100 prepaid card to spend in the local retail sector.