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MD of Galgorm Collection “We are devastated by this morning’s announcement”

Galgorm Collection Managing Director Colin Johnston has gave his response to the latest restrictions announced by the Northern Ireland Executive on Wednesday to curb the rise of COVID-19.

Mr Johnston said:

“We are devasted by this morning’s announcement. Last week we publicly called on the Executive to protect the industry and the livelihoods of its workforce and we are incredibly saddened that this has fallen on deaf ears. Since reopening on 27th July, following an 18 week shut down, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our team members and guests and we have consistently gone above and beyond to ensure we are implementing the most stringent measures possible.

“Last week we warned that up to 75% of hospitality jobs and people’s livelihoods could be lost by Christmas unless measures are put in place by the Executive to sustain the industry. We are concerned now that that today’s announcement will decimate jobs and threaten the future of the industry and the economy.

Colin Johnston, Managing Director of Galgorm Collection

“We question the rationale for imposing a shut down across the hospitality sector while other sectors remain open. We have not seen any detailed evidence to support the case that the hospitality sector is a driver of community transmission. From the information we have seen, hospitality accounts for a very low number of cases compared to other settings. 

“We would like to remind the Executive that all MLA’s continued to receive salaries during a prolonged period of a full Assembly suspension. Now, our industry is being forced into a period of closure and we are calling for the Executive to ensure that urgent financial support is forthcoming for workers so that family incomes are protected and particularly in the run up to Christmas.”

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