Hospitality groups insist they're ready and able to reopen fully this weekend
They want to fully reopen this weekend.
Hospitality groups have said they are ready and able to open fully this weekend should the government give them approval.
Restauranteurs and publican groups have called on the government to remove the 8pm restrictions from today (Friday, 21 January).
On Thursday, the National Public Health Emergency Team gave approval for almost all Covid restrictions to be lifted at the discretion of the government.
This includes the scrapping of the use of the digital Covid pass for pubs and restaurants and the return to normal opening.
The news was welcomed by the Vintners' Federation of Ireland who called for all restrictions to be lifted this weekend.
"After almost two years of lockdowns and closures our members are ready to fully open from Friday," VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said.
"There's no need to wait any longer, all restrictions should be removed this weekend.
“NPHET has no objection to a full reopening of pubs so we need to go for it now. Northern Ireland is fully reopening over the coming days so it’s important we make the same decision.
“While it will take considerable time for the hospitality sector to fully recover from the past two years, this weekend marks a new beginning for the trade.”
Reacting to the recommendations coming from NPHET, Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said: “The news coming from NPHET this evening has been eagerly awaited by the entire hospitality and late night sectors for a long, long time.
“Hopefully the Government will now move swiftly and there will be no delays to the full reopening and the scrapping of hospitality restrictions.
“Hospitality is ready and waiting to open our doors this weekend. If the Government gives the green light then the recovery of the hospitality and night time sectors could begin as early as Friday night."
Main image via Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie