NO PUB LEFT BEHIND- HU SAYS 2M TO 1M DISTANCING MUST BE FAST TRACKED
23 June 2020
Reacting to the comments made by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in the House of Commons this afternoon on the reduction of social distancing from 2m to 1m and the opening up of the hospitality sector including hotels, restaurants and all types of pubs in England, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said today:
“We acknowledge the move by the Prime Minister to reduce social distancing rules from 2m to 1m in England which is now a decision that needs to be fast tracked by our own Executive.”
“We welcome the public comments made today by our own Economy Minister Diane Dodds, that she has committed to raising this issue with her Ministerial colleagues later this week. This is not about safe and unsafe, it is about safe and safer and our industry will put mitigations in place to protect our staff and customers and play our part in reducing the spread of the virus.”
“It is simply not economically sustainable to maintain the 2m rule in many hospitality businesses.”
“The Prime Minister has also announced the reopening of all pubs in England on 4th July which includes those who only sell alcohol (known as ‘Wet Only Pubs’) which brings into sharp focus how far behind Northern Ireland is on this issue, despite the extremely low level of new covid-19 cases in comparison to other regions. We need to join the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and now England who have set out their timeframe for reopening of hospitality businesses, including all pubs.”
“It’s important that our pubs have a plan in place. The majority are family run businesses and provide local employment and are a focal point for communities. Many will not be able to come out the other side of the lockdown, even at a 1m social distance gap, but we need to get them open to give them a fighting chance and get their customers back to save their livelihoods and businesses.