2M TO 1M DISTANCING THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL BUT 90 MIN RULE A NON STARTER

2M TO 1M DISTANCING THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL BUT 90 MIN RULE A NON STARTER

17 June 2020

Reacting to the publication of draft guidelines by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in the Republic of Ireland on the reopening of the hospitality industry in the south, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said:

 

Reducing social distancing guidelines from 2m to 1m in line with the World Health Organisation is imperative for the hospitality industry in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Without this, most businesses simply will not be able to reopen as it will not be commercially viable. This is not about safe and unsafe, it is about safe and safer, a 1m social distance is recommended by WHO and will save many jobs if implemented. We hope the Executive will now make a similar decision on this for our industry in Northern Ireland along with opening non-food pubs.”

 

“However the suggestion of a maximum length of stay of 90 minutes and mandatory pre-bookings are a total non-starter for the industry.”

 

“These requirements would be unviable for many restaurants and pubs right across Northern Ireland particularly those who are dependent on walk-ins. We need to encourage people to visit our hospitality establishments again not make them completely unattractive to customers. It would become a very mechanical thing, almost like a car parking transaction where there is ‘no return within the hour’.”

 

“We understand the health and safety concerns, but the protection of staff and customers is paramount and as an industry we will be doing everything we possibly can to reduce the spread of the virus. We have industry specific guidance on this ready to publish and we know that we can open in a way which is Covid19 secure, but also attractive to customers.”