North re-opening ‘concerning’ for Inishowen businesses
The opening up of services in Northern Ireland over the next few weeks is ‘worrying’ for businesses just a few miles away in Inishowen.
While non-essential shops, close contact services and more will reopen in Derry and across the north from later this month, (see page 15 for key dates) those in the South remain in the dark as to when they will follow suit.
Chairperson of Carndonagh Traders’ Association Deirdre Bradley told the ‘Journal’ that while reopening is welcome news for those in the North, it has increased anxiety for those in Inishowen
Deirdre, who owns the boutique Deirdre’s at the Diamond, said it would be ‘much better’ if all counties, North and South, were ‘in sync.’
“We’re quite concerned, especially for those in the hospitality end of things. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for an announcement next week.”
Deirdre said people are getting frustrated and it is inevitable many people locally will travel across the border when services reopen.
“No-one knows if we’re on Level Four of Five, it’s all mixed up. People are getting frustrated. I know of people who have been so careful this whole time, but are intending on going into Derry.”
Deirdre said that while business owners are not seeking a quick reopening, they need some ‘hope.’
“We’re 20 minutes away from the border. Derry will be open and we won’t be.
“At the end of the day, we still have all the same bills coming in that door. We’re nearly four months closed and have missed a full season. People also need to know what’s happening so they can prepare. If we even got click and collect back in place it would be great. It’s not that we want to rush into it, but we need a bit of hope. We need a plan.”
From this Friday, April 23 some of the businesses reopening in the North include close contact services, such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons and from Friday, April 30, all of retail will reopen.