The situation of coronavirus in North Ireland is getting better with each passing day. The country achieved a huge milestone with no deaths reported due to the coronavirus in 24 hours. This is the sixth time that there are no deaths within the past nine days. However, the number of coronavirus cases surged with four new active cases but no deaths reported.
Meanwhile, the authorities are relaxing the lockdown for the public in phases. Public spots such as restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels will reopen from the 3rd of July. The number of cases of coronavirus in North Ireland is consistently low. First Minister Arlene Foster warned that the lockdown will further ease if the trend of Covid-19 cases remains the same.
Diane Dodds, the Economy Minister of Stormont said that the government should open the tourism and hotel industry earlier than the said date, 20 July. She said that this step is beneficial for the economy of North Ireland.
The tourism industry was badly affected due to the coronavirus in the country. It contributes a lot to the economy and went through a downfall during the lockdown. Dodds also said that these measures highly depend on the situation of coronavirus cases.
The death toll due to coronavirus is consistently low over the past few days. On Sunday, NI reported zero deaths due to Covid-19. After these reports, the authorities decided to open the major public spots.
The government of North Ireland further plans to reopen camping sites and caravan parks. Also, self-catering tourist accommodation will reopen from Friday. The hotels will also reopen from the 3rd of July. However, the government has not permitted to reopen salons and spas within the hotels yet.
Other public recreational spots such as museums are also all set to reopen from July 3rd. Tourist attractions such as cultural heritage museums will also become operational.
The government officials warned the business owners and customers to maintain social distancing. It is necessary to limit the spread of coronavirus so the government can reopen more places. The Stormont Executive also stressed the social distancing measures.
The tourism industry is an important constituent of the North Ireland economy. The industry contributes £2bn each year and provides jobs to 65,000 individuals.
Since the government is considering to reopen, it is important to keep the R-rate of the virus low. Currently, the R-number of coronavirus in North Ireland is from 0.5 to 0.9. R number indicates the number of individuals a single infected person can further infect. The R-number is very keenly observed while considering to ease the lockdown.
Stormont’s current policy is to reopen if the R-number stays below one. It increases with the increase in the transmission of coronavirus in the community. The Health Department also provided significant scientific data used by the experts to calculate R-rate of infection. The department also showed the prevalence of coronavirus in North Ireland.
The Health Department stated that almost 5% of the individuals in North Ireland recovered from coronavirus. They were also able to detect antibodies against the virus in this population. The department updated about the coronavirus in North Ireland and warned that the situation can get worse from here.