Northern Ireland news

Last year a 'living hell' for hospitality sector

Colin Neill from Hospitality Ulster

THE last year has been a "living hell" for the hospitality sector and hopes of finding a way out are rapidly fading, it has been claimed.

Colin Neill from Hospitality Ulster said that since the initial lockdown on March 23 last year, the industry had seen traditional pubs closed for all but 23 days.

Food-led hospitality businesses opened, under severe restrictions, for 119 days.

Hospitality Ulster is calling on the executive to let it see the data keeping them closed and the criteria on which they will be allowed to reopen.

"Our hospitality industry not only provides a Covid-secure environment, our licensed premises also provide a strictly regulated environment for the consumption of alcohol. We are part of the solution to tackle illegal gatherings and house parties that spread Covid, plus limiting the over-consumption of alcohol that can damage health," Mr Neill said.

"How many more days must we wait until the health department share the criteria for reopening all our hospitality businesses? How many more days must we wait until the executive sit down with us to plan our reopening?

"How many more days must we wait without hope? It's now 365 days and counting."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news