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07 Jul 2022

Derry Chamber of Commerce say relaxation of Covid rules signals a return towards normality

Derry Chamber of Commerce say relaxation of Covid rules signals a return towards normality

Derry Chamber of Commerce CEO, Paul Clancy: "These are welcome steps by the Executive which will allow our hard-hit hospitality businesses to begin trading with more freedom."

Derry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Paul Clancy, has welcomed the decision to relax a number of Covid restrictions.

The Stormont Executive announced that vaccine passports will no longer by required for pubs, restaurants and cinemas. This will begin from Wednesday, January 26 onwards.

However, the scheme will remain for nightclubs and indoor events with 500 or more people – both for venues that are unseated and partially seated.

Table service rules for hospitality businesses will be removed from noon tomorrow (Friday, January 21).

Reacting to the news, Mr Clancy said these were welcome steps and a positive move that signals a return towards normality.

He said: “These are welcome steps by the Executive which will allow our hard-hit hospitality businesses to begin trading with more freedom and ease over the coming weeks and months.

“Bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and other hospitality businesses have been clear since before Christmas about the perilous position the industry is in and the impact that these restrictions were having on their day-to-day operations.

“The lifting of restrictions is, therefore, a wholly positive move and one which signals a return to normality once more for our economy, our communities, and our society as a whole.

“It’s important that, where necessary however, the Executive continues to support businesses which are struggling through no fault of their own.

“The speedy roll out of schemes like the Omicron Hospitality Payment is vital and we would encourage government departments to work to ensure they are delivered as quickly as possible.

“We would again urge people to continue supporting local businesses and spending local as our small and independent traders get back on their feet.”

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