15/04/2021

Executive Urged To Reopen Hospitality Sector 'Immediately'

Hospitality Ulster is urging the NI Executive to reopen the sector "immediately".

The call comes as market measurement, data and research consultancy CGA has collated information on behalf of Hospitality Ulster in an attempt to get to the bottom of why decision making on the reopening of the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland has left it as the only region in the UK without dates and a clear reopening roadmap.

This is despite Northern Ireland's current Covid-19 case rate being aligned to England's (now open outdoors) and significantly lower than Scotland's (currently accelerating reopening plans).

Hospitality Ulster has also called on the Chief Medical Officer to present the information that he is advising Executive Ministers and has questioned what this information could possibly be, and how it might differ from the statistics that are publicly available.
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Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster commented: "The NI Executive need to take the decision to define dates to reopen the hospitality sector as soon as possible and for an accelerated plan to be put in place to get the entirety of the industry open.

"It is clear from the information that has been collated independently by CGA that there is a strong evidence base to show that we are now in a place for reopening. In many cases, we are statistically ahead, or on a par, with England, Scotland and Wales, across a number of measurements, so why are we so far behind and the last region in the UK to sort out the roadmap for reopening for hospitality?

"Our sector cannot wait around forever. Every single day brings news of further despair and livelihoods being hit hard, especially when we see other parts of the UK opening up on the news. The Executive needs to bring immediate clarity, be confident in its decision making and accelerate reopening where possible. We can't have some parts of the sector opened early as a publicity stunt and for other parts to still be closed or so heavily restricted that it is unviable for them."

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