Draft guidelines for reopening of pubs drawn up

Draft guidelines for reopening of pubs drawn up
A strict table service policy will be in place and counter service will be prohibited under draft guidelines for the reopening of pubs that do not serve food.

The draft Government guidelines, which were drawn up in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, have been circulated to vintners’ groups this weekend.

They are broadly the same as those that have been brought in for pubs where food is being served.

These include keeping customer records for contact tracing purposes and time slots which are limited to 1 hour and 45 minutes where physical distancing of 1 metre can be maintained.

However time slots of 105 minutes are not a requirement where physical distancing of 2 metres can be “strictly maintained”.

Physical distancing is required between people from different households, but not between those from the same household.

While pubs that serve food reopened earlier this summer, so-called wet pubs which do not serve food have been closed since March.

The Government has begun a consultation process with vintners as efforts continue to try to find a way to allow them to re-open.

Minister for State Thomas Byrne has said with the proper advice and guidelines, all pubs could reopen “within the next few weeks.”

He said it was the clear determination of the Government to reopen pubs and he wanted to see that happen “within the month of September.”

While he said preparation is under way he cautioned any decision would have to be based on public health advice.


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Under the draft guidelines, all customers will have to leave the premises by 11.30pm, while customers should order from their seat during the visit.

Groups must be limited to a maximum of six people from no more than three households.

Publicans will be required to record the time and date of arrival of customers, and the name and phone number of the lead person in the group for contact tracing purposes.

Employees working behind the bar should maintain a distance of 2 metres “as far as reasonably possible”.

The guidelines also say that straws should be individually wrapped and the decoration of glasses, such as with cocktail umbrellas, should be minimised.

Publicans are also advised to arrange for the cleaning of beer lines in advance of reopening “as a notice period may be required by breweries or suppliers”.

The guidelines also say that when using smoking areas customers must remain seated.

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