No Time Limits On Indoor Hospitality Services Under Newly-Agreed Guidelines
Published on Jul 21 2021 8:03 AM in Features tagged: Featured Post / Restaurants Association of Ireland / VFI / RAI / Vintners' Federation of Ireland / indoor dining / EU Digital COVID Certificate / indoor drinking
There will not be any time limits on indoor hospitality services under guidelines that were agreed with the hospitality sector on the evening of Tuesday July 20.
As reported by rte.ie, hospitality venues will be required to close at 11.30pm and the government will develop an app to allow business owners to check customers' EU Digital COVID Certificates at the doors of venues.
Up to six people will be permitted sit at tables that must be kept one metre apart, however, there is reportedly some confusion around the suggestion that tables with children will have to be two metres apart from other tables, and several sources have reportedly suggested that no decision has been made on that yet.
The guidelines will reportedly place an emphasis on the need for CO2 monitors and air extractors, and the view in government is reportedly that the resumption of indoor hospitality services for individuals who are vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have recovered from the virus will proceed as planned on Monday 26 July.
Indoor Hospitality Services Resumption Legislation Signed Into Law
The legislation to pave the way for this to happen, which was passed by the Dáil last week, has reportedly now been signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins.
Following the president's signing of the legislation, the government is reportedly likely to emphasise the need for both customers and the hospitality sector to act responsibly as COVID-19 case numbers continue to increase.
Cabinet Meeting Today
The Cabinet will reportedly meet today (Wednesday July 21) and will likely discuss the resumption of indoor hospitality services, although the decision to proceed with the resumption of indoor hospitality services on July 26 has reportedly already been taken.
Much progress was reportedly made yesterday (Tuesday July 20) on the guidelines for the resumption of indoor hospitality services, but some details reportedly remain to be agreed.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin reportedly said on his way into Cabinet this morning that the vaccine programme is rolling out very effectively, but that people need to be vigilant in the coming weeks, and "we have all got to adhere to the guidelines no matter how tired we are of this pandemic".
At today's meeting, the Cabinet will reportedly also discuss increasing COVID-19 case numbers and the resumption this of non-essential international travel, which occurred on Monday July 19. Many TDs have reportedly been contacted by individuals who are having difficulty getting their EU Digital COVID Certificates.
VFI CEO Statements
Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) chief executive Padraig Cribben said reportedly said that guidelines that will allow pubs to reopen on Monday July 26 are almost complete.
Cribben reportedly said in a statement, "Confirmation of next Monday's reopening will be made at Wednesday's Cabinet meeting but guidelines cannot be finalised until the legislation underpinning the reopening is signed by the president over the coming days.
"While our members will be relieved to reopen next Monday there remains a significant challenge in policing the vaccine pass. It will require the full support of the public to ensure this temporary solution runs smoothly."
Cribben reportedly said on RTÉ's Drivetime radio programme that while there will be an app, there will also be potential for paper-based systems, and there are still a number of questions about what type of ID will be required with those QR codes.
Cribben reportedly said that it makes sense and the VFI welcomes the abolition of the time limits as it stops people moving around to different outlets, and that while table service will still be in place, the VFI is seeking clarification about the use of the bar counter.
Cribben reportedly said that the VFI believes that there is scope to have the use of the bar counter for service, while ensuring social distancing and safeguards for venue employees.
Chairman Of The Cork City And County VFI Branch Statements
The VFI reportedly said that its members will ask customers about their vaccination status and check for certificates.
Chairman of the Cork City and County VFI branch Michael O'Donovan reportedly said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland radio programme that it is part of the protocols put in place by the Department of Health, and that a member of staff will be allocated to carry out the task of certificate checks at the door, regardless of the size of the venue.
O'Donovan reportedly said that most publicans have ventilation in their venues and that he is aware of many publicans who have ordered CO2 monitors as an extra precaution, while some have installed air purification systems.
RAI CEO Statements
Meanwhile, Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) CEO Adrian Cummins reportedly said that he is confident that indoor hospitality services will resume on Monday July 26, and that he is hopeful that businesses will be provided with the app that will allow them to verify vaccination status or recovery from COVID-19 status for individuals entering a venue.
Cummins reportedly said on Drivetime that the RAI expects the app to be ready before July 26, and that unvaccinated children will be allowed to enter venues, once they are accompanied by vaccinated adults and they will be subject to social distancing.
Cummins reportedly said, "All going well, we would expect that we would have indoor dining, a resumption of it, from next Monday onwards."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.