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Executive must make difficult decisions around social distancing to protect NI's economy

Diane Dodds


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Decisions around social distancing could have a big impact on Northern Ireland's businesses, the Economy Minister said. (Arne Dedert/AP)

Decisions around social distancing could have a big impact on Northern Ireland's businesses, the Economy Minister said. (Arne Dedert/AP)

AP/PA Images

Decisions around social distancing could have a big impact on Northern Ireland's businesses, the Economy Minister said. (Arne Dedert/AP)

The past two months have been an incredibly challenging time for all of us. People have been afraid about the health impact of COVID. Families and friends have been unable to meet. Businesses have been put under incredible pressure. Our economy has been devastated.

The decisions taken by the Executive have been based on the medical and scientific guidance from the CMO and CSO. At all times we have sought to minimise the harm to lives and families. However as we ease the lockdown the Executive faces some big decisions on how to open up the economy and on what guidance we publish in respect of social distancing.

Closing down large sections of the economy has been incredibly difficult, and despite the unprecedented level of financial support made available from both national and devolved government, many businesses will simply fail if they cannot begin trading again soon.