Guidelines for the hospitality sector due to be published today have been delayed due to ongoing discussions regarding the number of people that should be permitted per table.
The guidance drawn up by Fáilte Ireland had been expected earlier today, however, the Department of the Taoiseach is yet to approve the guidelines, according to the Irish Examiner.
The plans are expected to include:
- A one-meter rule between tables for both indoor and outdoor dining
- A limit of six people per booking
- A 105-minute time limit for indoor dining, or no time limit if a two-meter distance is maintained between tables
- Time limit (if any) for outdoor dining to be set by the establishment
- A removal of the 'substantial meal' rule
The disagreement among officials is reported to relate to the total number of people allowed at one table, as children under a certain age had previously been excluded from the table limit number.
It has been suggested up to 15 people could be at one table when children are included, which has caused concerns this could encourage parties, such as birthdays and christenings.
The Irish Times reports the delay in the publication of the guidelines is to ensure the sector "has a clear understanding" of what is expected when they reopen, with a Government source adding they are focused on "getting it right".
Outdoor dining is set to resume from June 7th, while indoor hospitality is expected to be given a July reopening date in the next announcement due to be made on Friday.
Accommodation services, such as hotels, will however be permitted to offer indoor bar and restaurant services to their guests from June 2nd, prompting calls from the Restaurants Association to extend indoor dining to all restaurants on that date.