Come on on in (responsibly), says Hospitality Ulster

Hospitality Ulster has appealed to the hospitality sector and customers alike to be responsible and comply with social distancing measures when sections of it reopens today.

Hospitality Ulster recently published extensive guidance and risk assessment procedures to ensure the sector can do all it can to reduce the spread of this virus whilst businesses reopen safely.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster commented:  “We know that people have been stuck in their homes for almost 15 weeks and many will be keen to visit their favourite restaurant or pub when they reopen.”

“However, customers can expect some changes as businesses adapt their premises to make them Covid-19 secure. With reduced capacity, restrictions mean that food pubs must operate like restaurants indoors, non-food pubs restricted to outdoors only and some, as yet, unable to reopen. I would advise customers to plan in advance to ensure they are not disappointed and whilst businesses will be making every effort to ensure their safety, customers must also take responsibility for ensuring social distancing to protect staff and other customers.”

“The reopening of the hospitality industry comes with increased responsibility to protect the health of our staff and customers. To that end, each and every business in our sector must do all they can to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”

“Reopening also comes with a range of restrictions and advice which must be taken seriously and implemented to the highest standard. Flouting the regulations or guidance could result in the re-closure of our sector, or worse – the increased transition of the virus through irresponsible actions.”

“Hospitality Ulster has striven to protect the jobs and livelihoods in our industry, but now it is the responsibility of the individual businesses to do everything possible to reduce the spread of the virus and protect lives of their staff and customers.”

“Every business must take a responsible attitude and comply with Government guidance. It is also vital that everyone adheres to the social distancing guidelines so that the wider industry can prosper in the future. If the police are forced to take action, we’ll fully support them in this respect.”

“That being said, the hospitality industry is incredibly responsible and significant measures have been taken to create a safe environment. We are not taking this lightly, and many members have spent thousands of pounds, just to allow them to reopen in a safe way. It is in the best interest of the industry in the long term that it is successfully reopened so that jobs and livelihoods are not affected. We simply cannot afford to see a spike in cases and a second lockdown.”

“As the industry begins to reopen this weekend, we urgently need a reopening date for non-food pubs, a vital part of our industry and our communities, as they cannot sustain continued closure unless further financial assistance is forthcoming from the NI Executive.”

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