No evidence and not enough financial support for scapegoated pubs: CAMRA NI
Responding to the Executive’s decision to continue to keep pubs that don’t serve food shut when national lockdown restrictions end on 11th December, CAMRA Northern Ireland Chairperson Ruth Sloan said:
“The decision to keep pubs closed at what should be their busiest time of the year is another devastating blow.
“It seems that our pub culture and the idea of people safely enjoying a drink in a supervised, COVID-secure venue is being used as a convenient scapegoat for the spread of the virus when other, similar businesses are allowed to re-open. It is hard not to conclude that pubs are being unfairly singled out for extra restrictions compared to other businesses.
“Not only will this be devastating to jobs and businesses, but it will also continue to deprive people of much-needed social interaction this Christmas, as well as the mental wellbeing benefits of pub-going. These pubs have proved that they are willing to do everything asked of them in terms of table service, social distancing, ventilation and track and trace. This decision may well lead to more unsupervised drinking in people’s homes where risk of transmission is greater.
“The Executive must urgently introduce a new, decent and long-term financial support package for scores of otherwise viable, wet-led community pubs which deserve to be saved from going bust due to these restrictions.”