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Following yesterday's  Executive’s decision on the reopening of hospitality, the Chief Executive Officer of Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade, Colm Shannon has said that the local economy needs hospitality to return.

Hospitality needs to return. O'Hare's Bar in the Canal Court Hotel. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Mr Shannon has welcomed that the Executive is focused on reopening hospitality on 24 May, but thinks "it is disappointing that businesses won’t know for sure until 20 May, just 4 days before the planned reopening."

The CEO added “The hospitality sector needs to reopen on the 24th May.  Thanks to the good work of the Health Service, the vaccine programme has been a success. Businesses have also made significant investment in safety measures and the training of their staff, to ensure their premises are safe.

“It is safer for organised events to be held in the controlled and safe environment of a hotel or restaurant, than large gatherings in the home.

“Our economy needs the return of hospitality. It is great to see our shops open and  shoppers back, but we also need our cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels open for a vibrant and successful Newry.”

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