Indoor dining to reopen on July 23rd at the latest

A non-physical meeting of the Cabinet will be held ahead of the normal weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, to facilitate a speedy passage of the legislation through the Dáil and Seanad.
Indoor dining to reopen on July 23rd at the latest

Digital Desk Staff

Indoor hospitality should reopen no later than Friday July 23rd under plans to be approved by Cabinet tomorrow.

As the Irish Examiner reports, after days of negotiations with the hospitality sector, ministers are set to approve a plan to allow fully vaccinated adults and children under 18 in their company dine and drink indoors.

A non-physical meeting of the Cabinet will be held ahead of the normal weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, to facilitate a speedy passage of the legislation through the Dáil and Seanad.

The Government is hoping that approval from the hospitality sector will remove any political concerns about the potential use of personal data to allow passage into pubs and restaurants.

It is hoped that the legislation could be passed by the Dáil and Seanad before the end of the week.

This bill, which will have the effect of amending the Public Health Act of 1947, will pass through the Oireachtas on Friday and will require the signature of President Michael D Higgins. Once signed into law, the new system will immediately become operable.

New legislation

According to Government sources, President Higgins, if satisfied with the legality of the legislation, could sign the bill at some stage between Monday July 19th and Friday July 23rd.

Sources have said that the new law, if passed, will allow those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 to enter bars and restaurants, while minors aged under 18 but accompanied by vaccinated parents or another vaccinated person will also be allowed access to indoor hospitality.

Under the proposed system, people who are fully vaccinated will receive a certificate including a QR code. This certificate can be shown on entry in app form, in paper form, or through an email on a phone, sources say.

It has also been confirmed that people who have been vaccinated in the North, Britain, and the US will be allowed entry into bars and restaurants, if they have proof of vaccination.

Following the establishment of a new group to develop the rollout of antigen testing, the new legislation makes reference to the role antigen testing will play in hospitality “in the coming months". Sources have said this proposal is part of the plan to make sure bars and restaurants will be able to continue to stay open from next week onwards and not have to close again.

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