Bar & Drinks news

HU hopeful 11pm hospitality curfew is temporary measure

Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

An 11pm curfew set for the local hospitality sector by the NI Assembly this morning has been welcomed by Hospitality Ulster as preferable to the 10pm proposal. However, hope has been expressed the curfew will be subject to ongoing review and potentially moved to a later time.

“If a curfew is necessary, it is important that it is set at a time that allows the hospitality sector to be sustainable after being so badly damaged by the Covid lockdown,” said Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

“The hospitality industry was reopened to save jobs and businesses in the safest way possible and now has some of the strictest legally enforceable Covid regulations across the island of Ireland and UK.

“We welcome the fact that the earlier time of 10pm has been dismissed, but 11pm still means that doors have to be shut by that time.”

“We respect that health has to come first, but this curfew and other restrictions must be kept under continuous review.”

“Legislation normally goes through a scrutiny process before being introduced, however, this emergency has skipped over this process and it is now essential that these decisions are scrutinised directly following their introduction.

“The Executive and our industry needs to discuss the criteria used to introduce the measures and immediately begin the process of identifying the criteria to safely remove the restrictions.

“The sector is going to lose hours, it’s losing staff and it has lost live music and needs to be given a fighting chance. A curfew is not ideal, but we in the hospitality sector will do all we can to make this work, which hopefully will be only a temporary measure.”

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