Visits to pubs and restaurants are likely to be time-limited when they reopen to vaccinated people.
Indoor dining is on course to reopen no later than July 26th after Cabinet signed off on legislation limiting it to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID.
Ministers are meeting again this morning to finalise a reopening date.
Unvaccinated children will also be allowed in once they are accompanied by a guardian.
Unvaccinated bar and restaurant staff will be able to eat and drink at their own workplace.
Digital COVID Cert
The Digital COVID Cert, which is being issued this week to all fully vaccinated people will be accepted as proof of vaccination.
Other documents will be accepted from people traveling here from abroad.
Compliance officers will inspect pubs and restaurants to ensure they are checking people’s status.
Gardaí will be able to hand out fines of up to €2,000 to people caught forging documents. There are also potential fines for premises not carrying out checks.
Social distancing measures will remain in place and, where tables are less than two metres apart, visits are set to be limited to one hour and 45 minutes.
Detailed guidance will issue from Fáilte Ireland in the coming days.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the rules could be extended to other leisure outlets as the summer rolls on.
“There is also provision in the bill to extend this approach to other indoor settings that are currently closed – for example, bingo halls or bowling alleys,” he said.
“Again, not being done initially but potentially could be done down the line.
“An exemption will apply to unvaccinated staff working in these premises. They will of course be able to get a drink or have a meal after or before work in the place in which they work.”
He said allowing children to join their parents means social distancing must remain in place.
“There is only one deviation – that we will allow accompanied minors to attend indoor hospitality with their parent or guardian.
“But, on advice, this does mean that social distancing rules will continue to apply indoors as they did last summer.”
There are provisions in the bill to permit people who test negative for the virus to eat indoors; however, the Government says more work is needed on that.
The legislation now needs to be passed by the Dáil and Seanad this week before being signed into law by the President.
It will run until October 9th at which point any extension will have to be approved by the Oireachtas.