Bar & Drinks news

Wet-led pubs to reopen in NI on September 23

Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

Hospitality Ulster has welcomed a Northern Ireland Executive announcement permitting ‘wet-led’ pubs to reopen on Wednesday, September 23.

“Although it is two days after the intended date, we recognise that it is better to delay by a couple of days to get the new regulations right to support a Covid-secure environment,” said Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

“Over the last six months, we have campaigned tirelessly to secure the safe reopening of this vital sector of the economy and understand just how important this is for so many. For the hundreds of businesses and thousands of employees, this news will be a vital lifeline and will hopefully reassure those who were concerned for their future.”

“However, we do not underestimate the scale of the challenges ahead. First and foremost, the health and wellbeing of customers, staff and the wider public will be the priority for all publicans.

“We have provided detailed guidance in this respect and will continue to engage with the NI Executive and the statutory bodies to ensure compliance of the new regulations right across the industry. Nobody should be in any doubt that the hospitality sector locally is taking Covid-19 seriously.

“It is important to acknowledge however, that for some individuals, due to the continued restrictions, it simply will not be possible to reopen. We need to continue to look at how these individuals can be supported in the time ahead.

“The same must be done for colleagues in other parts of the hospitality and arts sector such as music and live event venues. It is vital that everything is done to get these individuals and places back on their feet once again.”

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