08 July 2021


Reacting to the Executive announcement this afternoon, Hospitality Ulster, Chief Executive, Colin Neill said:

“Whilst any easing of restrictions are to be welcomed, it is disappointing that hospitality has been left off the current plans and we wait again for the plan to be kickstarted for the lifting of the restrictions that are specifically impacting on the industry’s recovery.”


“Restrictions including table service only, social distancing and the cap on table numbers still in place means licensed premises, especially our traditional non-food pubs, are finding it very difficult with reduced capacity and the resulting severe loss in trade. Other parts of the hospitality sector such as nightclubs are also in jeopardy as they remain closed with no financial support.”


“According to ONS data and research by insights agency CGA, Northern Ireland’s infection rates remain significantly less than any other part of the UK, however, we have watched on as our colleagues across the water are given clear direction and opportunities to open up further while we remain stuck in this period of limbo.”


“We have now written to seek an urgent meeting with the First and deputy First Ministers to discuss the continued restrictions on the hospitality industry and how and when then can be removed. The hospitality industry cannot sit on its hands and wait to see how things pan out. The evidence is there to set us on an accelerated reopening pathway. Many hospitality businesses will simply not survive if the restrictions remain indefinitely. We need the removal of restrictions soon or the Executive must step in with financial support. It is simply not fair to impose restrictions that make businesses unviable and not provide financial assistance.”


“With the news that over 80% of the Northern Ireland adult population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and hospital numbers remaining low, it is vital that we now move on from where we were in June.”


“We do welcome the announcement that a possible ‘Freedom Day’ will be announced in August, with the remaining hospitality mitigations being lifted. In the interim, the Executive must now engage with the sector to ensure the correct pathway out of this stage of lockdown is taken so that no part of our industry is left behind. Partnership and level-heads must be shown to save parts of the industry from collapsing before it gets the chance to bounce back.”  



To read the Executive's announcement, please click HERE.