The long-awaited return of indoor dining is hoped for later this month as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease across Ireland.
Irish cafés, pubs, and restaurants will soon be able to welcome diners indoors again with the long-awaited return of indoor dining and drinking across Ireland later this month.
With variant strains and shifting restrictions, it has been an unpredictable summer for those working in Ireland’s hospitality industry. Thus, the latest news that indoor dining and drinking looks set to return later this month will be welcomed by many.
When are they set to reopen? – an indicative date
The news that indoor dining and drinking is set to return across Ireland this month will be music to the ears of many. However, there will still be a number of rules and restrictions in place that must be followed.
An exact date for the reopening of indoor hospitality is yet to be announced. However, the Irish Government has indicated they are aiming for next Friday, 23 July.
This indicative date is dependent on legislation passing through the Oireachtas to be signed off by President Michael D. Higgins next week.
Slowly returning to normal – cautious steps
As indoor dining and drinking is set to return across Ireland this month, customers should be aware of several stipulations.
To be able to take an indoor seat at your favourite café, bar, or restaurant, you must provide “verifiable evidence of vaccination or immunity status”.
This means customers must have an EU Digital Covid Cert. These will be sent out this week to those who have received both vaccination doses.
You must show this alongside your ID, and hospitality businesses will not retain this data.
All you need to know – what if you’re not fully vaccinated?
Several other plans are set to be rolled out with the return of indoor dining and drinking across Ireland.
Namely, tourists visiting Ireland from outside of the EU must provide evidence of an equivalent document to avail of indoor dining.
Secondly, children under the age of 18 will be allowed to dine indoors. This is as long as they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated or recovered parent or guardian.
Thirdly, plans have also been suggested that pharmacies could offer antigen tests. Thus, allowing those who receive negative results to dine inside.
Safety measures – social distancing and policing
Various safety and policing measures will also be put in place to coincide with the return of indoor dining and drinking across Ireland.
While customers will be trusted to comply with the new rules, it will fall to HSE environmental officers and officials to ensure they are being followed.
Anyone found to have forged a medical document will face a €2,000 fine and/or a month in prison. Plus, social distancing measures will remain in place to ensure the safety of hospitality workers and unvaccinated children.
Hospitality businesses must also uphold measures in compliance with the Government’s Work Safely protocol. Fáilte Ireland will publish full details of this in the coming days.
In the meantime, however, there are plenty of restaurants offering outdoor dining. If you’re in the capital, there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy a meal outside in Dublin.