Hospitality guidelines to be approved later after delay

A 105-minute limit on indoor dining and a cap of six per booking is set to be included.
Hospitality guidelines to be approved later after delay

James Cox

Fáilte Ireland guidelines for the resumption of the hospitality sector are expected to be approved later today.

The proposals had been expected to be published yesterday, but were held-up at the Department of the Taoiseach for further “observation”.

A 105-minute limit on indoor dining and a cap of six per booking is set to be included.

Ventilation will also feature, and Noel Anderson from the Licensed Vintners Association says pubs may require help with that.

Mr Anderson said: “There are technologies out there that can improve air ventilation systems, but there is quite a lot of cost to that so if the Government are asking us to do that, there will have to be some assistance on that.”

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".

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