Lifting of Rule of Six and Executive Announcement Reaction

Lifting of Rule of Six and Executive Announcement Reaction

12 August 2021

Hospitality Ulster has welcomed some of the progress made by the Executive this afternoon in relation to changes to isolation policy and table size. However, with punitive restrictions still remaining in place, the representative body is now calling on politicians to stand by the industry and allow it to deliver for the economy again through further movement on the lifting on remaining restrictions.

 

Hospitality Ulster has welcomed some of the progress made by the Executive this afternoon in relation to changes to isolation policy and table size. However, with punitive restrictions still remaining in place, the representative body is now calling on politicians to stand by the industry and allow it to deliver for the economy again through further movement on the lifting on remaining restrictions.

 

Commenting on the Executive announcement this afternoon, Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said:

 

“We welcome the news that the rule of six per table in hospitality venues is to be lifted. The cap on guests per table limited hospitality businesses in their offering and contributed to the current situation which many hospitality businesses found themselves trading, limiting their ability to recover from the past eighteen months.”

 

“It is also welcome to see changes being made to the self-isolation terms that were imposed on close contacts. In recent months, hospitality businesses have been struggling to remain open due to staff shortages which has only added to the sense of despair in the industry.”

 

“However, we are extremely disappointed, and indeed concerned, that other that restrictions including all seated and table service only still remains, jeopardising the viability of many small businesses. Already we have venues cancelling musicians, who have been booked in the hope that restrictions would be removed to allow the industry to trade successfully within guidelines applied to individual risk assessments rather than legal regulations.”

 

“We will once again seek to meet the First and deputy First Ministers to clarify a timeline for removal of the remaining limitations and reinforce the need to support the industry.”

 

“We need to completely transition out of lockdown restrictions as a matter of urgency, allowing for bar service, and to move past distancing so hospitality venues can fully extend their offering to customers and build back their businesses. It is up to our politicians to stand with our industry, which is Northern Ireland’s fourth largest private sector employer, and allow us to deliver for the economy again.”