Hospitality Ulster welcomes date boost for non-food pubs

Hospitality Ulster has welcomed the announcement by the NI Executive that ‘wet-led’ - non-food - pubs will be allowed to reopen in Northern Ireland from August 10.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster
Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster

Despite the reopening of hotels, restaurants, food-pubs and beer gardens at the beginning of July, a date for the reopening of wet-led pubs was previously withheld, causing great concern and financial hardship for many business owners.

The announcement of a date has brought a sense of relief for many publicans, who will still find it tough to return to any form of profitability under the current social distancing guidelines.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said: “Whilst we would have liked an earlier date, it is welcome news that our wet-led pubs finally have a date for reopening. These pubs are at the heart of our local communities and have experienced significant financial difficulties since closure in March.

“Confirmation of this reopening date will now allow these businesses to plan ahead and make sure they can get back to business in a safe way for both staff and customers alike.”

Many of these wet-led pubs are small, family owned businesses who will struggle to get around the negative impact of the pandemic, however, with a reopening date, they now have a fighting chance.

“We know that with the current social distancing guidance, it is going to be very difficult for these businesses to return to profitability.

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