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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Indoor dining

Varadkar says indoor hospitality is 'working well' and urges compliance over bank holiday weekend

As of Monday, customers can avail of indoor hospitality if they have proof of Covid-19 immunity.

MINISTERS LEO VARADKAR and Catherine Martin are urging pubs and restaurants to continue to adhere to the guidance for indoor dining ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

In a statement, the ministers for Enterprise and Tourism respectively said the first week of the resumption of indoor hospitality has been “working well” and they reiterated the need for customers to “fully engage” with the guidelines. 

As of Monday, customers can avail of indoor hospitality if they have proof of Covid-19 immunity, either through vaccination or recovery from the virus. 

Businesses are required to ask for and check a customer’s proof of immunity, which may include the EU Digital Covid Certificate and HSE Covid-19 vaccination record. 

In their statement today, the ministers are reminding customers that they may also be asked for ID to back up their proof of immunity. 

Varadkar also noted that for some businesses, such as traditional pubs, this week was the first time they had reopened since March 2020. 

“Anecdotally we understand that the new arrangements are working well and we urge both businesses and customers to embrace the new arrangements in a safe manner as we approach the bank holiday weekend,” he said. 

Yesterday, The Journal reported that some pubs and restaurants have been the subject of coordinated online abuse and fake reviews by those opposing the use of Covid-19 vaccine certs to attend indoor dining.

This campaign against the businesses was described as “reprehensible” Taoiseach Micheál Martin

In her statement today, Tourism Minister Catherine Martin said that “solidarity” is key to how the country rebounds from Covid-19. 

“Throughout the pandemic, solidarity has been at the core of our response and I know that this spirit will inform how we all embrace the new arrangements in the coming period, ensuring we keep each other safe,” she said. 

Both Varadkar and Martin also welcomed the clarification that, while table service is the “safest mode of service”, counter service including buffet’s and carveries are permitted if other safety requirements are in place. 

Under Fáilte Ireland’s guidelines, businesses that operate counter services must have appropriate signage in place, a dedicated queuing system and must also have individual items per customer. 

“Employees should serve food to customers. There should be no open food areas. Where food is served buffet-style, all items displayed for customer use should be individually wrapped or be a single serve item. Pre-prepared covered portions are recommended,” the guidelines state.

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