Cabinet to sign off on plan for reopening indoor hospitality

Cabinet Ministers will sign off on new plans later to reopen indoor dining for restaurants and pubs
Cabinet to sign off on plan for reopening indoor hospitality

Cabinet Ministers will sign off on new plans later to reopen indoor dining for restaurants and pubs.

New legislation will allow fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered from Covid to eat and drink indoors.

The reopening is expected between the 19th and the 26th of July.

“Family bubble”

Children will be allowed to accompany vaccinated parents in restaurants as part of a “family bubble” under the new plan.

The European Union digital Covid certificate will be adapted for use in the hospitality industry here at the doors of pubs or restaurants to prove vaccination or recent recovery from the virus, The Irish Times reports.

Customers who were vaccinated in the North, Britain or the United States will also be covered if they can provide evidence of vaccination or recent recovery.

Sources told The Irish Times that negative PCR and antigen tests could be used for access to indoor hospitality in later phases of reopening, but this will only come after further scientific advice as well as an examination of testing capacity for such measures.

The legislation will be discussed at today's meeting and will have to pass before the Dáil's summer recess which due to begin on Friday.

Officials have been working over the weekend to finalise the legislation.

For the reopening to coincide with the return of international travel on July 19th, it would have to pass all stages of the Oireachtas and be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins with connected regulations in place by the end of the week.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) advised Government to postpone the return of indoor hospitality due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Smartphone app

Under the current plans, business owners would be able to use a smartphone app to check the person’s cert.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has welcomed the news that Cabinet will sign off on the plan today.

Its chief executive Adrian Cummins said, “we are within touching distance of reopening indoor hospitality which will allow for 180,000 employees return to work”.

“It’s imperative we build on the progress to date over the weeks ahead. The Government must now rollout an national information campaign for consumers and hospitality businesses,” he said.

 

 

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