Guidelines on indoor dining to be outlined
Government guidelines on how indoor hospitality will operate from Monday are due to be published shortly.
The new measures will allow those who are vaccinated against Covid-19, or have recently recovered from the virus, and their children to eat and drink indoors.
President Michael D Higgins yesterday signed the Health Amendment Bill into law, paving the way for the resumption of indoor hospitality from Monday.
It is understood that under the guidelines drawn up by the Indoor Hospitality Guidelines Group, there will be no limit on the length of time customers can remain in a premises.
Face coverings will have to be worn by customers moving around indoors, and digital and paper vaccine certificates will be accepted on entry.
In addition, there will be no bar service, with six people allowed to eat at a table indoors.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland RAI has called for the immediate publication of the guidelines.
RAI Chief Executive Adrian Cummins said 180,000 workers were depending on the new guidelines to allow for the safe and secure reopening of the sector.
Meanwhile, the President of the Irish Wedding Association said couples were hugely upset to hear that the number of people allowed to attend weddings next month is unlikely to increase to 100.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Tara Fay said the wedding industry has not been given any update.
She said it would be better if the Government would say that “this is not happening”, rather than leaving couples in the lurch and unable to plan with certainty.
Ms Fay said that while restaurants can have more than 50 people at one time from next Monday, numbers for weddings remain unchanged.
Most couples, and those attending weddings, are vaccinated but this has not been taken into account, she added.
The latest easing of restrictions comes amid new warnings of rising number of cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that cases could peak at 3,000 or 4,000 a day before easing back.
Yesterday, the Department of Health was notified of 1,378 new cases of Covid-19.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the latest estimate of growth rate of new cases is approximately 6% to 7% per day.
In a tweet last night, CEO of the HSE Paul Reid warned that the Delta variant still poses a “huge risk”.