Outdoor hospitality reopening brought forward in Northern Ireland

19 April 2021 by
Outdoor hospitality reopening brought forward in Northern Ireland

Hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen earlier than initially planned, it has been confirmed.

New indicative dates for the lifting of restrictions were agreed by ministers at Stormont last week.

From 30 April licensed and unlicensed premises can welcome customers outdoors with a limit of up to six people from two households per table. Overnight stays in self-contained tourist accommodation will be permitted for one household, and an 11pm curfew on takeaways is to be lifted.

Proposed dates leaked to the media earlier had suggested outdoor hospitality would not reopen until 10 May, with indoor dining unable to resume until June. Indoor hospitality service could be now allowed from 24 May, alongside the reopening of all tourist accommodation and indoor visitor attractions.

First minister Arlene Foster said the country was entering "brighter and better times" with coronavirus rates falling.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, welcomed the announcement but said he hoped reopening dates would be brought further forward. He added: "Hope is now on the horizon and for those who have been able to survive this devastating period it is now time for them to prepare their businesses for the long awaited resumption of trading.

"Our industry has spent millions of pounds on Covid secure measures and will reopen in a responsibly way, but any additional restrictions must allow businesses to operate on a sustainable footing to secure the future of the jobs depending on them."

The next formal review of the coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland will take place on 13 May.

Photo: Shutterstock

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