The Northern Ireland Executive has published a tentative framework for reopening pubs saying many will remain closed until December.
Now, CAMRA Northern Ireland has called for the NI executive commit to giving more financial support to enable pubs to survive.
Northern Ireland chair Ruth Sloan said the roadmap confirms that pubs will be among the last businesses to re-open, possibly not until December.
“When they do, they will be operating with reduced trade as a result of following social distancing measures,” said Ruth
“It is clear that ministers must now commit to enhancing and extending financial support for NI’s pubs to help them weather the storm of restrictions, both until we reach Stage 5 and throughout the period of limited and restricted openings once we get there.
“That’s why CAMRA is calling for the Executive to scrap business rates for pubs for the rest of the year and to keep offering grants – both to those that have to remain closed and to those who will re-open but operating at reduced capacity.
“It is also vital to protect our local beer and cider industry by introducing a specific support package for local brewers and cider producers who are unable to find new routes to market whilst pubs and restaurants are closed, like sell online, due to outdated and restrictive licensing laws.
“Without financial support we could risk many of our pubs and local, independent breweries and cider-makers not being able to survive the COVID-19 crisis.”
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