Belfast Chamber and Hospitality Ulster have jointly urged the Northern Ireland Executive to follow the example of the Republic of Ireland and both urgently bring forward the reopening dates for all retail and hospitality and review the 2-metre social distancing rule.
Commenting, Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive Colin Neill and Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton, “With the Government in the Irish Republic announcing that it is bringing forward its dates for when retail and hospitality can reopen, the Northern Ireland Executive urgently needs to follow suit. Our local retail and hospitality sectors have now had their doors shut for nearly 3 months to help stop the spread of COVID-19 with costs still rising and no income in their tills. They are actively planning and preparing to reopen in ways that ensure staff and customer safety. All they now need is a date from the Executive when they are permitted to do so.
The Irish Government are allowing retail and hospitality ahead of the original schedule. Northern Ireland retail and hospitality businesses need the same certainty from Stormont. It is ridiculous that in a few weeks’ time you’ll be able to eat a meal in a pub or buy a pair of shoes in Ballina but not in Belfast. We are demanding that Stormont don’t let our retail and hospitality sectors fall behind. Our sectors need sufficient notice so that they can reactivate their supply chains and make all the necessary preparations to reopen safely.
Hospitality Ulster and Belfast Chamber urge the Executive to replicate what is happening in Ireland and also in England give our retail and hospitality sectors some hope and something to work towards by both setting dates when they can reopen and also review the 2 metre social distancing rule which the Irish are also now doing”. Ends