Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.13 15 Jul 2021


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People need to use their own judgement on whether or not to bring children with them when going to dine indoors in a restaurant, according to the Taoiseach.

It comes after the Chief Medical Officer recommended against it, saying it’s safer to stick with outdoor settings.

Legislation passed by the Dáil last night will allow children to accompany vaccinated adults for a meal indoors.

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Indoor pubs, cafés and restaurants are expected to get the green light to reopen shortly, with the Government saying the reopening date will be no later than July 26th.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin today said it's up to each individual family to decide whether they want to do that.

He said: “People make their judgement - exercise their own judgement.

“I think in many instances there won’t be any difficulty in terms of children accompanying parents in a controlled environment.

"Remember, there are significant controls in a restaurant, for example, in terms of the sector's guidelines."

He said it's about individual and personal behaviour, balanced with the "legislative framework" that will govern the reopening process.

It's not the first time public health and government advice have differed, with Government sources saying people have to be able to make their own decisions.

Hospitality groups, however, believe they can manage the reopening safely.

Adrian Cummins, head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, told The Pat Kenny Show social distancing guidelines will be "strictly implemented" when children accompany parents to restaurants.

He said: "The CMO's advice is advice for the Government, but we see ministers now saying that there has to be a common-sense approach.

"We will be making sure people are well aware of what their responsibilities are."

Families should 'use their own judgement' on indoor dining with children - Taoiseach

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Main image: Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Picture by Sean Defoe

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