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Pubs given green light to reopen from 21 September

Cabinet agreed that pubs which do not serve food can reopen from 21 September, subject to local restrictions.

Image: Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

PUBS IN IRELAND have been given the green light to re-open from 21 September following a meeting of Cabinet this morning. 

However, the plan to reopen pubs is subject to local restrictions, which may be implemented in areas with high incidences of Covid-19. 

The decision comes after a concerning rise in cases in Dublin and Limerick. 

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

The re-opening of Ireland’s “wet” pubs – which have been closed since March – will be subject to strict guidelines on social distancing and hygiene, after discussions with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). 

“The next seven days are vital, everyone needs to reduce their contacts and assume any person you do meet may be carrying the virus,” Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said yesterday. 

Publicans and representative groups had 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. 

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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