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Queuing system for the jacks, individually wrapped straws and everyone out by 11.30pm: Here are the guidelines for pubs reopening

So-called ‘wet pubs’ in Ireland are permitted to reopen from 21 September.

Image: Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

PUBS MUST ENSURE that all customers are off the premises by 11.30pm, that people in smoking areas remain seated and that noise levels are kept to a minimum, under guidelines published today by Fáilte Ireland. 

So-called ‘wet pubs’ in Ireland are permitted to reopen from 21 September. Guidelines published today provide advice for pubs that serve food and those that do not. 

Customers should be able to enter and exit a pub through separate doors with hand sanitiser available at each access point, according to the Fáilte Ireland guidelines. 

In addition, pubs must have “prominent signage” relating to social distancing, only one person from a group should queue for their booking and a group must be limited to a maximum of six people from three different households, as per Government rules. 

No formal or informal events or parties should be organised within a pub and publicans must ensure physical distancing of two metres is maintained. 

However, this can be reduced to one metre in controlled environments. 

A time-limit of 105 minutes will apply to slots in pubs where only one metre can be maintained.

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

Pubs are also encouraged to consider an online booking system for their premises and to encourage customers to pay with card. Customers must remain seated and order from their table.

Beer taps, drip trays, bar mats, cocktail equipment, ice buckets and glass mats must be cleaned and disinfected frequently, the guidelines state, while straws should be individually wrapped. 

‘Tables, Stools, Chairs’

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

Pubs and bars are also advised to implement phased shifts for staff and keep the same combination where possible to limit employee interaction. The guidelines state face coverings should be worn by employees and that they should wash their hands regularly. 

Noise levels, meanwhile, should be controlled and publicans should put in place a plan “to take appropriate measures to control noise levels and to ensure volumes do not rise to a level where people are required to take measures to hear others”. 

Fresh glasses will be required for each new drink and bar staff must handle glasses by the stem or base. 

Tables, stools, chairs and seats must be cleaned after each use and pubs should limit the number of employees behind a bar. 

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A “strict queueing system” and limits on the number of people using toilets should also be enforced while smoking areas should be cleaned “at least twice a day”. 

The guidelines also contain advice for kitchen areas, back of house and pub deliveries. You can read the guidelines here

The guidelines come one week before pubs are due to reopen and the day before the Government will announce Ireland’s medium-term plan for living with Covid-19. 

The reopening of pubs in Dublin remains uncertain, however, as cases continue to rise in the capital. 

Earlier today, public health officials confirmed an additional 208 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, 108 of which are in Dublin. 

Cabinet is due to meet tomorrow morning. 

The guidelines above do not come into effect until 21 September. 

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