Thomas Jordan serving pints at the 'Top House' in Portstewart. WK40KC07
THE Chair of the Campaign for Real Ale NI, Ruth Sloan, says she is anxious about the immediate future for pubs across the province in the wake of the latest executive restrictions announced on Wednesday.
“The announced four-week closure is absolutely devastating news and a make or break moment for our local pubs and breweries," she said.
“Publicans trying to recover from the first lockdown have been operating at reduced turnovers and have invested thousands of pounds of their dwindling reserves to make their premises COVID-secure.
"They now face four weeks with no – or next to no - turnover whatsoever.
"Understandably, many feel that pubs have become the scapegoat for this pandemic.
“The Executive urgently needs to bring forward a comprehensive financial support package to cover this period - and the weeks and months following it.
"The couple of hundred pounds a week that pubs in the Derry City and Strabane Council area have received during local restrictions just won’t cut it.
“Without proper compensation, we risk seeing pubs and breweries closing for good before Christmas," she warned.