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Cabinet expected to permit reopening of pubs from 21 September

Local restrictions may be implemented in some areas with high incidence of Covid-19, however.

Grogan's pub in Dublin City Centre.
Grogan's pub in Dublin City Centre.
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE GOVERNMENT IS expected to permit the reopening of all pubs from 21 September when Cabinet meets later this afternoon. 

A number of dates were considered by Cabinet for the reopening of so-called ‘wet pubs’ which have remained shut since March. 

Speaking yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said publicans were understandably frustrated having been previously given dates for reopening that did not come to fruition. 

When the government decides on a reopening date, Varadkar said it should be a date that “actually happens”.

It comes after a concerning rise in Covid-19 cases in Dublin and Limerick. 

Regarding the reopening of pubs, it is understood that local restrictions may be implemented in some areas with high incidence of Covid-19, sources say. 

NPHET yesterday reported 102 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, 56 of which were in Dublin. 

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said NPHET is monitoring “with growing concern the number of cases nationally, particularly in Limerick and Dublin”. 

“The next seven days are vital, everyone needs to reduce their contacts and assume any person you do meet may be carrying the virus,” he said. 

Publicans and representative groups have expressed frustration in recent weeks over the continued closure of 60% of pubs which do not serve food. 

New draft guidelines for the re-opening of ‘wet pubs’ would see the 105 minute time-limit abolished in premises where a distance of two metres between customers from different households can be strictly maintained.

The guidelines, published on Sunday, were drawn up by Fáilte Ireland and include many of the same systems in place for pubs that are open as restaurants currently.

These include a requirement for customers to order their drinks at the table only, having customers off the premises by 11.30pm and the application of the 105 minute time-limit where the physical distancing is one metre. 

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The physical distancing of two metres required to avoid a 105 minute time-limit would not apply to customers from the same household. 

Customers would also be required to remain seated in smoking areas of bars. 

Under the draft guidelines, pubs would keep a record of the arrival times of their customers as well as their contact details and group numbers would be limited to six people from no more than three households.

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