Pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes can reopen within weeks
The shock move announced yesterday by Ministers and could see local establishments open within three weeks, with July 3 chosen as the date from which all such businesses can again welcome customers. Museums and cultural sites can reopen from the same date.
A note of caution however came with the announcement yesterday, with Arlene Foster warning that the reopenings can only proceed if COVID-19 transmission levels remain low.
Pubs and bars will be allowed to reopen provided they are serving food and operating table service only. Bars that do not serve food will still be allowed to sell alcohol, but only outdoors. A decision on whether to reduce the two metre social distancing rule to one metre is expected to be crucial in determining viability for smaller premises.
Commenting on the Executive’s publication of dates for the reopening of the local hospitality sector, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:
“This is excellent news for our partners in the Hospitality sector, our town centres and for the local retail sector as a whole.
“Retail and hospitality are two sides of the same coin and are key essential components of our high street, creating experiences for consumers and vital footfall for each other.”
“This is another step forward for our private sector and economic recovery.”
“However, we need to move to one metre social distancing as soon and as safely as possible,” Mr Roberts added.
NI caravan parks and self-catering accommodation can reopen on June 26.