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Hospitality Ulster | “This is the news that we have been dreading for some time”


Colin Neill (Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster) has reacted to the latest news of new lockdown restrictions being imposed by the NI Executive from 26 December.


Mr Neill said:


“This is the news that we have been dreading for some time. We do not welcome it, nor do we want it, but we support the decision to get the virus under control and get the hospitality sector back on its feet again as quickly as possible. It is with a heavy heart, but we will work with the government and abide by the decision.”


“Unfortunately this will sound the death knell for so many who will simply not be able to see through this enforced period. They won’t come out the other side and we are left counting the cost of an industry in tatters. The impact on the economy will run into the hundreds of millions, thousands of redundancies and a sector dead on its feet.”


“The sector now needs urgent financial assistance at the right level to offset previous debts rung up in the race to be covid secure and make sure that it is covered during this lockdown which will take weeks, if not months, to see out.”


“The shut downs and often false restarts have been financially and emotionally draining. These episodes have really taken their toll on business owners and staff alike and we really want to get away from that. The lived experienced of all this has been a nightmare.”


“The hospitality industry can no longer withstand repeated closure and reopening under unsustainable restrictions and should be given additional support to cover furlough costs, rents etc and only reopened when it’s permanent and financially sustainable.”


“We are appealing for everyone to abide by this decision which has come at such a heavy price so that we never have to experience anything like this again.”