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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland public expected to spend £80m in festive flurry as shops reopen

First Minister urges caution as hospitality and retail businesses brace for a bumper weekend

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Strong demand: Michael Deane’s restaurants are due to open today

Strong demand: Michael Deane’s restaurants are due to open today

Strong demand: Michael Deane’s restaurants are due to open today

Restaurants, hotels, shops and bars serving food are hoping for a festive spending flurry of up to £80m, with tables at one Michelin-starred venue selling out within minutes.

Restaurateurs and hoteliers have been preparing to welcome back customers on Friday after nearly two months of closure.

But with guidance on safe reopening not published until around 4pm on Thursday, some may have felt it came too late.


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