HU SAYS LATEST DATA BACKS REOPENING AS EXECUTIVE INDECISION LEAVES NI LAST REGION TO MAKE THE CALL
14 April 2021
Hospitality Ulster has said that the Executive must reopen the sector immediately and that the Executive Ministers and Chief Medical Officer must follow through on their word of following the data.
The call comes as market measurement, data and research consultancy CGA has collated information on behalf of Hospitality Ulster in an attempt to get to the bottom of why decision making on the reopening of the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland has left it as the only region in the UK without dates and a clear reopening roadmap.
This is despite Northern Ireland’s current Covid-19 case rate being aligned to England’s (now open outdoors) and significantly lower than Scotland’s (currently accelerating reopening plans).
Hospitality Ulster has also called on the Chief Medical Officer to present the information that he is advising Executive Ministers and has questioned what this information could possibly be, and how it might differ from the statistics that are publicly available.
The information shows: (Up until 7th April for comparable data)
- All restrictions in England to be lifted on 21st June; All outdoor and some indoor in Scotland from 26th April; and All outdoor in Wales from 26th June with NI no dates at all
- Northern Ireland’s case rate per 100k is almost the same as England and the overall UK average and around 12% lower than Scotland
- Northern Ireland’s case rate is below many English regions such as a)Yorkshire b)East Midlands c)North West d)North East which contains some of England’s most populated cities and urban areas
- Northern Ireland’s roll out of 2nd Vaccines doses in terms of per centage is ahead of Scotland and England (and the overall UK Average)
- Northern Ireland has recorded a significant decrease in positive tests across all ages groups and most starkly amongst the oldest and most vulnerable categories
Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster commented:
“The NI Executive need to take the decision to define dates to reopen the hospitality sector as soon as possible and for an accelerated plan to be put in place to get the entirety of the industry open.”
“It is clear from the information that has been collated independently by CGA that there is a strong evidence base to show that we are now in a place for reopening. In many cases, we are statistically ahead, or on a par, with England, Scotland and Wales, across a number of measurements, so why are we so far behind and the last region in the UK to sort out the roadmap for reopening for hospitality?”
“Our sector cannot wait around forever. Every single day brings news of further despair and livelihoods being hit hard, especially when we see other parts of the UK opening up on the news. The Executive needs to bring immediate clarity, be confident in its decision making and accelerate reopening where possible. We can’t have some parts of the sector opened early as a publicity stunt and for other parts to still be closed or so heavily restricted that it is unviable for them.”
“We have a commitment from our political leaders that decisions will be driven by data. So far we have seen no evidence for this and need to start to question the validity of the advice that the Executive and Chief Medical Officer are basing their decisions on. What information and data are they hiding from us?”