Northern Ireland news

Ballymena mayor delcares town 'open for business' depsite localised lockdown restrictions

Peter Johnston, mayor of Ballymena, has declared the town is `open for business' just 24 hours after it was put under a localised lock-down
Marie Louise McConville

THE mayor of Ballymena has declared that it is 'open for business' just 24 hours after localised restrictions were imposed on the town.

DUP councillor Peter Johnston took to social media yesterday to praise the "resilience and determination of the town’s business community'.

The comments came after people living in the Belfast council area, Ballymena town and postcode areas BT43, BT28 and BT29 were advised against making non-essential journeys outside the affected zones.

In addition, residents cannot visit other households, although there are a number of exceptions under which home visits are allowed including those in a social bubble with one other household and those with caring responsibilities.

Gatherings in private gardens are also limited to six people or fewer, from no more than two households.

However Mr Johnston took to Twitter yesterday under a post entitled `Ballymena is open for business'.

"I have witnessed first-hand the careful and considered steps that all our local businesses have taken in recent months to reopen their doors safely and in accordance with the public health guidance," he said.

"In many cases, business owners have exceeded any requirements of them in terms of hygiene and health protection, and shoppers are also playing their part in keeping our community safe so that we can continue recovering from this unprecedented crisis.

"By working closely with council’s Town Centre Recovery Group, every single one of our local businesses has gone above and beyond to keep our town open and welcoming for all."

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