Statement from Belfast Chamber

Comment from Belfast Chamber on today’s announcement

Commenting on today’s announcement by the NI Executive regarding the imposition of restrictions on people in the Belfast area, Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton said:

“Belfast Chamber understands the difficulty that the Executive faces in balancing lives and livelihoods, but we equally believe that restrictions should relate to risk. We welcome the statement today by the First Minister that, in respect of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the region, “the villain is not business”. Whilst we appreciate that imposing restrictions on gatherings in home settings was necessary given the evidence before the Executive, Belfast Chamber members have behaved responsibly throughout this crisis, prioritising staff and customer safety and that will resolutely remain the case as we work collectively to ensure a safe environment for everyone who lives, works and visits our city.

We welcome the Executive’s granting of an indicative date for the reopening of traditional non-food pubs. These pubs have been closed for 6 months and any initial financial support they received has long since run out. Belfast Chamber knows that traditional non-food pubs are able to open in a safe way and hopes that this date is adhered to and that they can reopen and start trading again from 21st September”.