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Hospitality Ulster proposes closed venues as vaccination sites

Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

Hospitality Ulster has said that the hospitality sector is ready, willing and able to help the local health service get the ‘jab done’ by offering up closed hospitality premises to assist with the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland.

The organisation has said, with the lockdown in place, our pubs, restaurants and hotels are ideally placed to provide community-based venues as vaccination centres. As refrigeration and extensive Covid secure measures are already in place, they could serve a vital purpose to help alleviate pressures at GP surgeries and other clinical settings.

Hospitality Ulster has written to the Health Minister Robin Swann with the offer.

“The hospitality sector has had an awful 10 months, but we still want to make sure that we can play our part in helping the roll out of the vaccination programme,” said Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

“Throughout the crisis, the hospitality industry has done everything asked of it and more to provide a Covid-secure environment for our staff and customers.

“Businesses in the sector have spent thousands upon thousands of pounds setting up structures and systems to protect staff and customers which ironically could now be ideal for the management and flow of people ensuring that they are safe as they get the jab.

“Offering up hospitality venues in local community settings as vaccination centres is the right thing to do to at this time of extreme need. They are sitting vacant with extensive refrigeration facilities for the vaccine and with further pressures expected to be heaped upon the health service they could serve a great community purpose.

“We have written to the Health Minister Robin Swann and his team our offer of help and will provide every assistance possible if he takes us up.”

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