NI ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown could cost economy £400m says Department for the Economy
and live on Freeview channel 276
The initial assessment includes direct and indirect losses along with the costs of a potential delay to the partial recovery.
It comes on top of losses of £4-5billion already caused by the impact of Covid-19 and the original lockdown earlier this year.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds said the report was “important evidence” of how Covid-19 restrictions affect local businesses and jobs.
“This initial analysis carried out by my officials provides important evidence of the profound impact the Covid-19 restrictions have had on our economy.
“The four-week circuit breaker had a direct impact on around 60,000 jobs with severe financial consequences in particular for people working in accommodation and food, close contact services, supply chain businesses, and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors.”
Minister Dodds added: “Indicators are that females, younger workers and those on low pay may have been most adversely affected.”
The publication of the report came a few hours after the Northern Ireland Executive yet again failed to reach an agreement on what should happen when the ‘circuit breaker’ ends on Friday.
It means that should the Executive fail to reach an agreement before midnight tomorrow Northern Ireland will revert back to the way things were before the introduction of the restrictions on October 16.
It has been reported that the DUP used a veto to block a recommendation made by Health Minister, Robin Swann, to extend the ‘circuit breaker’ by a further two weeks.
It is believed that in place of a two week extension to the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown the Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, put forward the following proposals.
– Close contact services, including hairdressing, beauty treatments and driving lessons, resuming on November 13 by appointment only.
– Unlicensed premises, including cafes and coffee shops, reopening on November 13.
– Hotels able to serve food and alcohol to residents.
– Licensed premises remaining closed until November 27. A “Safely open group”, involving hospitality sector and executive, to be established to oversee this move.
– Pubs and bars able to offer sealed off-sales from November 13.