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Indoor dining

Guidelines for indoor hospitality allows for six to a table, with closing time remaining at 11.30pm

Indoor hospitality in pubs and restaurants is to reopen from next Monday.

FINAL GUIDELINES FOR indoor dining published last night will see a maximum of 6 persons aged 13 or over are permitted at a table.

This limit of six does not include accompanying children aged 12 or younger.

The total combined capacity at a table cannot exceed 15 overall. Multiple tables cannot be booked.

Indoor hospitality in pubs and restaurants is to reopen from next Monday.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) will be the primary evidence for proof of immunity or vaccination when going into a pub, restaurant, café or food court to access indoor hospitality.

Other proofs of immunity will be set out in regulations, which will be published by Sunday, and will include the HSE Vaccination Record.

Customers may also be asked for photo ID to verify the cert or documents.

A Digital Covid Certificate QR reader will be used by pubs and restaurants in order to check for valid certificates.

Regulations will set out what documents are accepted as proof for those from outside the EU who are fully vaccinated or recovered.

The closing time remains 11.30pm, but there is no time limit on the period someone can dine indoors.

Upon entering a premises each persons contact details will be collected for possible future contact tracing needs.

Counter service remains prohibited, even in pubs, with table service only permitted.

The guidelines states that no live / loud music or performances are permitted.

Face coverings should be worn by customers at all times other than when seated at their table, and employees must wear face masks at all times.

Physical distancing of at least two metre should be maintained between tables. However, if this is not possible, this can be reduced to one metre in controlled environments.

If a customer leaves the premises for any reason such as to access a smoking area for example, they will have to notify a staff member. Ideally, they will then be provided with pass which must be returned or checked on re-entry.

The new guidelines sets out that indoor areas must be well ventilated. 

Businesses which re-open will also be able to avail of the three-week double payment of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “From Monday we are going to open indoor hospitality, get lots of businesses open and lots of people back to work. As a first step in this reopening, businesses will allow entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, as well as children under 18 in their care.”

“The restrictions being applied to this re-opening are designed to be a temporary measure, and hugely important for the sector and their customers. I know that operating this new system will be inconvenient for business and could add to staff costs.

“It is, however, the only way we can re-open and stay open throughout this Delta wave. Hopefully, it will not be necessary in a few months’ time but it is good to have it in place in case it is. There will be teething problems and we will work with the industry to review and amend the regulations as needed and based on practical experience.”

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