FERMANAGH business people have been reacting to the news that as of 6pm tomorrow (Friday) some will have to shut their doors to trade in order to fight the pandemic.

This is the second time many businesses have had to close after a sustained period of closure during the initial lockdown.

Hospitality businesses are due to close unless they are serving take-away food – there are no provisions in place for outdoor dining.

One section of the hospitality sector which will particularly feel the impact of the closures are wet pubs, which reopened to the public just three weeks ago.

Pat Blake, of Blakes of the Hollow, in Enniskillen, said: “I am devastated, as are all our staff who have worked so hard to get up and running again.

“The rug has been pulled out from beneath us.”

Mr. Blake believes the hospitality sector is in a “worse position than the start of lockdown”.

He said: “The furlough arrangements are different. There is no indication at this time that the financial support will be there for pubs.”

He warned of a “difficult time ahead” for the hospitality sector as staff “do not know what the future will hold”.

There is a difference in regulation for close-contact services across the island of Ireland, as hairdressers and other close-contact services are still allowed to open.

James Britton, of Mr James Hair, Enniskillen, also reacted negatively to the news that salons will have to close.

He said: “I am devastated. We don’t just ‘do hair’ – hair salons provide a safe haven where people open up, feeling they can unburden their stresses and worries.

“Over the past couple of months, from reopening, my belief about this has only increased.

“I am thinking of everyone struggling to mentally deal with all this, [they] know that there is always someone to listen [at the salon]. A problem shared is a problem halved.”

Schools will be closing their doors to students from next Monday, October 19 to October 30, in an extension of the school break.

The Impartial Reporter contacted a number of local schools, but one Enniskillen school declined to comment as it was awaiting guidance from the Department of Education.

Some of the regulations introduced across Northern Ireland mean that the restrictions on both sides of the Border will be the same.

Kane Connor lives in Fermanagh and operates his gym, KC Fitness, in Blacklion.

Gyms will be allowed to open for individual training in Northern Ireland, but there will be no exercise classes in place.

He said: “We are allowed to open for individual training, which is one-to-one personal training, but we can’t have classes.

“I could have up to 15 people in a class, and 20 classes a week – that was the bread and butter of my gym.

“Further restrictions would mean having to lock the whole place up.”