Hotel news

Indoor weddings allowed in Northern Ireland from July 10

Janice Gault, chief executive, NI Hotels Federation.

Northern Ireland Hotels Federation Chief Executive Janice Gault has welcomed the reopening of hotels from July 6, as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, and a return to limited indoor weddings from July 10.

“In a welcome move, First Minister Arlene Foster MLA and Economy Minister Diane Dodds MLA, who have championed the unlocking of the hospitality industry, announced that weddings in Northern Ireland can take place indoors from 10 July, in line with social distancing protocols,” said Gault. “At present, they are limited to outdoors settings, with no more than 30 people present.

“Further guidance will be provided on the number of attendees which will be based on the size of the venue along with social distancing measures. These metrics will determine how many people can safely attend the event.

“Last year in Northern Ireland, there were 7,255 weddings and civil partnerships with an average value in excess of £30,000 per event. This is a significant revenue generator for the hotel sector which stages both ceremonies and receptions.

“Wedding business is estimated to be worth in the region of £250m to the local economy with events spread across hotels, dedicated wedding venues and other hospitality businesses. The hotel sector is therefore looking forward to being able to say ‘I do’ to the many couples who wish to get married, and to welcoming back guests for other events in the coming months.

“It’s important to recognise that the hotel industry faces a massive challenge in responding to Covid-19. The understanding is that there will be further clarification around other types of gatherings, meetings and events this week. This will open up further income streams in what is undoubtedly a challenging trading environment.”

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