ARMAGH'S retailers can't wait to welcome you back through their doors!
That's according to Art O'Hagan, the Chair of Armagh City Centre Management on the news that those retailers who were classed as non-essential can reopen from Friday.
And that will be music to the ears of the city's many fantastic independent retailers.
The announcement was made earlier today by Economy Minister Diane Dodds.
"Numerous shops in our city centre are back open and need your support," said Mr O’Hagan.
"We are open for business, Armagh stores welcome the local community back and ask them all to respect the social distancing guidelines each shop will have in place."
Mrs Dodds said that the reopening of shops was subject to them adhering to the necessary safety measures and no increase in the spread of the virus.
She added, "This was considered at this morning’s Executive meeting and it was agreed that as long as retailers can adhere to the necessary safety measures, and there is no increase in the spread of the virus by Thursday, then these shops can re-open.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the local economy. The recovery has already begun and it is time now for the pace to accelerate. The re-opening of all goods retail outlets will be a huge part of this.
"The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the local economy. The recovery has already begun and it is time now for the pace to accelerate. The re-opening of all goods retail outlets will be a huge part of this.
“The safety of staff and customers is of course paramount. All retailers must be able to implement measures that minimise the risk to their staff and to the people who visit their stores. We will be co-existing with this virus for some time to come so it is vital that we continue to adhere to guidance to work and live safely."
The Minister added: “The re-opening of our local shopping sector is a significant step forward in the Executive’s pathway to recovery. I and my Executive colleagues remain committed to moving forward in the recovery while at all times keeping the health, wellbeing and safety of people at the centre and being transparent in our approach.
“This is a major step forward today but there is more work to do and I will continue to work to progress the recovery.”