22 December 2021

'Announcing businesses closure without knowing what (if any) financial support is available is contemptable and shows no consideration for staff and business owners.


Businesses closed, additional restrictions imposed and supply chains impacted, all without details of financial support. What sort of situation is that to force upon an industry that is crying out for support?


Business owners and staff have been left high and dry about their future over Christmas. Do our Executive Ministers not see what state the hospitality sector is in?


It’s not acceptable to have to wait until 30th December and have so many people worrying over the holiday period.


I fully appreciate how you all must be feeling. We have worked hard and tried our best to secure financial support and will continue to work to secure the support needed now, and a stimulus for recovery.'


Colin Neill

Chief Executive

Hospitality Ulster





According to NI Executive, a financial package is still being developed and will be discussed on the 30th December.





Effective from 6:00am on 26th December 2021


  • Nightclubs CLOSED
  • All indoor standing events prohibited
  • No dancing- doesn’t apply to weddings
  • NOTE: Music still allowed


Effective from 6:00am on 27th December 2021


Table Restrictions (Rule of 6)

  • A maximum of 6 people from 6 households can be seated at a table, or a maximum of 10 persons if those persons are from one household or one bubble. Children aged 12 and under will be discounted from the total.
  • Premises are legally required to inform customers of the table / household restrictions.
  • NOTE: You are legally required to take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance.





  • Table service ONLY (no self service)
  • Customers are NOT permitted to order or pay at the counter / bar


All Seated

  • Any person consuming food or drink MUST be provided with a seat at a table immediately on entering the premises
  • Orders for food or drink MUST only be taken from customers only at the table at which they are seated
  • Customers can ONLY move within the premises to enter the premises, reach the table at which they are to be seated, access toilet facilities or leave the premises
  • All food and drink MUST be consumed by visitors only at the table at which they are seated


  • “table” includes a counter or other structure which serves the purpose of a table and which is not used wholly or partly as a bar for the service of food or drink.
  • all seats provided for the use of customers to those premises are situated at least one metre from any bar used wholly or partly as a bar for the service of food or drink, unless there is a partition on the bar between customers and staff of the relevant hospitality premises.


No Standing

  • Customers MUST remain seated, no standing is permitted


Previous Restrictions Remain

  • Risk Assessment
  • Face Coverings
  • Proof of Covid Status
  • Recording Customer Details


Previous Guidance available BY CLICKING HERE





  • Regular Staff Testing
  • Hand sanitiser stations
  • Use of protective screens
  • Good ventilation
  • Use of one-way systems (if possible)
  • Minimising close face to face contact



  • Close contact with someone who tested positive with the Omicron variant have to isolate for 10 days even if you were fully vaccinated.





The new Statutory Sick Pay Guidance (click here) has yet to be published but here is a link to the previous scheme. It is not expected that the new scheme will differ from this in any substantial way.

Here’s the link to the factsheet on Statutory Sick Pay (click here). Key points are:

  • It is available for SMEs (i.e. employers with fewer than 250 employees).

Employers will be eligible for the scheme if:

  • They are UK-based.
  • They employed fewer than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021.
  • They had a PAYE payroll system as off 30 November 2021.
  • They have already paid their employees’ COVID-related SSP.


  • Employers will be able to claim the costs for up to two weeks of SSP per employee that has to take time off because of COVID-19.


  • This two-week limit will be reset so an employer will be able to claim up to two weeks per employee regardless of whether they have claimed under the previous scheme for that employee.