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outdoor dining

Drinking outside pubs and restaurants here to stay as minister plans to make it permanent

The law that permits outdoor drinking and dining has been extended for a further six months.

A LAW THAT permits outdoor drinking and dining has been extended for a further six months.

During the pandemic, the Government approved the new law to deal with on-street service by pubs and restaurants due to concern that they were not covered by alcohol licences.

During Covid-19 restrictions, when dining was only permitted outdoors, there was confusion in some parts of the country when premises were warned by gardaí that alcohol could not be served outside.

As a result, and in a bid to provide clarity, the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 was introduced to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in seated outdoor areas, including areas adjacent to the licensed premises.

It obliges licence holders to maintain good order in those areas

Justice Minister Helen McEntee today got Cabinet approval for the extension of the legislation for a further period of six months until 31 May 2023.

The extension will require resolutions of the Dáil and Seanad.

The Sale of Alcohol Bill, a separate piece of legislation which allows for the late-night opening of pubs and nightclubs, is intended to address the matter of outdoor dining to make it allowable on a more permanent basis. 

The minister said she plans to have this legislation passed by the summer. 

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