Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

22.01 17 Jun 2020


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Customers in pubs which reopen as restaurants will now be allowed 105 minutes of 'seating time', instead of the previously proposed 90 minutes.

The pubs themselves will have an extra 15 minutes to ensure there is adequate cleaning time and to ensure customers "leave and enter without mixing" - meaning a total of two hours can be allocated for each sitting.

Pubs will also be able to implement one metre social distancing where two metres isn't possible, as long as it is "in controlled environments, provided other risk mitigation requirements have been met and pre-booked time slots are in place".

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It had earlier been suggested there would be a 90 minute limit on seating time, but industry groups had pushed for that to be increased to two hours.

Fáilte Ireland says it has now agreed changes with health officials, with the group having now published their full guidelines for pubs set to reopen as restaurants later this month.

Carvery or buffet-style meals will be allowed, but only where the public health advice is followed.

Social distancing restrictions will not apply at tables for people from the same household.

Pubs are also being told to have a "designated employee" at front-of-house to ensure all the necessary social distancing measures are followed.

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said: “These guidelines are intended to provide clarity to businesses so that they can reopen safely on June 29th.

"I would like to thank my team and officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport who have been working tirelessly on ensuring these guidelines are practical while adhering to public health advice.”

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Matthew Impey/EMPICS Sport

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