From Arlene Foster MLA <[email protected]>
Subject DUP COVID-19 News Update - 19th June
Date June 19, 2020 7:53 PM
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DUP Update - 19th June 2020
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** Re-opening of schools, hairdressers & churches
This week saw a significant step forward with plans announced for the re-opening of schools, childcare and churches.

The announcements were made by the First Minister following Thursday's meeting of the Executive.

The announcements included:

⛪ Churches can open for worship from 29th June.

🧒🏻 Access to childcare for all parents from 1st July, not just key workers as is the case at present. Childminders can look after 4 families initially, rising to 5 from August.

🏫 A phased return to school from 24th August, with Years 7, 12 and 14 returning before other pupils.

✂️ - Hairdressers, barbers and nail bars can reopen from 6th July.

Following the First Minister's proposal to the Executive, it has also been confirmed that Free School Meals will continue to be provided over the summer period.

[link removed]
Arlene Foster speaking after the first meeting of the working group on places of worship.

** Updates from this week


** Education Minister Peter Weir
* Set out plans for the re-opening ([link removed]) of schools.

* Published guidance for schools ([link removed]) on the new school day.

* Announced a childcare recovery ([link removed]) plan.

* Outlined proposals to support vulnerable children ([link removed]) and young people over the summer period.

** Economy Minister Diane Dodds
* Welcomed the further relaxations for businesses ([link removed]) re-opening.

* Announced membership of the Economic Advisory Group ([link removed]) and published detailed recovery plans.

* Re-allocated £30million ([link removed]) within her Department to address COVID-19 budgetary pressures.

* Announced that re-opening dates for the hospitality industry ([link removed]) would be brought forward.

* Highlighted the benefits which introducing 1metre social distancing ([link removed]) would have for the hospitality industry.

* Welcomed the recommencement of passenger flights ([link removed]) from Belfast International Airport.

* Joined the First Minister in discussions with Chamber of Commerce ([link removed]) members.

** DAERA Minister Edwin Poots
* Visited community organisations to see the benefit of the £250,000 ([link removed]) Coronavirus Community Fund.

* Announced the re-opening of amenities ([link removed]) at at DAERA owned forest and country parks. .

* Outlined plans for the re-opening of CAFRE campuses ([link removed]) in September.

** MPs
* Gregory Campbell highlighted that UK Government ([link removed]) economic support to Northern Ireland stood at £130m per week during May.

* Ian Paisley called on Sinn Fein to end their doublespeak on the Victims Pension.

** MLAs
* Policing Board members called on the Police Ombudsman ([link removed]) to confirm that investigations into police handling of COVID-19 regulations will also include the policing of large republican funerals.

* Mervyn Storey met the Chief Constable alongside the Party Leader Arlene Foster to discuss current issues facing the PSNI and welcomed the decision not to proceed with aspects of the re-branding consultation.

** 'Dark day' following Westminster Abortion Vote
Before MPs voted on the abortion regulations this week, DUP MPs joined disability campaigner Heidi Crowter in delivering a petition of over 18,000 names to Downing Street opposing the imposition of the most liberal abortion regime in Europe.

Upper Bann MP described the decision of MPs to back the regulations as one of the darkest days for Northern Ireland, but that hope now rested with the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan has reiterated the Party's determination to secure change within the Assembly. He said,

"The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted to reject the imposition of extreme abortion laws by Westminster. Abortion law is a devolved matter and the DUP is committed to bringing forward pro-life legislation and our Assembly & Executive Team will be looking at every opportunity to address this issue."

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