THE hospitality sector should not seek or promote cross-border business while there is a disparity in Covid vaccination numbers, Health Minister Robin Swann has said.
Outdoor hospitality, including self-contained accommodation, can reopen in the North of Ireland on Friday.
But no reopening dates for the sector have yet been announced across the border in the Republic.
Mr Swann was speaking in the Assembly chamber on Monday.
The minister, responding to a question from UUP MLA and colleague Alan Chambers, said the health regulations in the Republic were clear.
Those resident in the Republic can travel within their county or up to 20km (12.4 miles) from home.
“There’s also an onus, not just on the guards (Irish police) and PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland), but also those within the hospitality industry not to be actively promoting or seeking cross-border business trade at this minute in time while there is such a disparity in vaccination rates on either side of the border,” Mr Swann said.
The Republic of Ireland, which is about a month behind the North of Ireland in its vaccination programme, has been in what has been described as the “longest lockdown in the world” and there is pressure to reopen society, particularly from the hospitality sector.
Some restrictions were relaxed from Monday, with non-contact sports such as golf and tennis able to resume, with training sessions in other sports for those under-18 allowed in groups of 15.
From this Friday, April 30, the North will ease further lockdown restrictions.
Reopening of all non-essential retail
Unlicensed and licenced premises can open out doors.
Gyms can reopen for individual training.
Leisure centres can reopen
15 people from three households and meet in the garden
Removal of curfews on takeaways and off-licences.
An indicative date of Monday, May 24 has been given for the reoepning of all hospitality.
However, that will depend on the rate of reproduction of the virus across the North of Ireland in the lead up to the date.Tags: