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Ireland amends pub rules to include increased seating times and one-metre distancing

18 June 2020 by
Ireland amends pub rules to include increased seating times and one-metre distancing

The National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, has updated its Guidelines for the Reopening of Pubs with changes to seating times, social distancing and contact tracing.

The revised guidelines for pubs, gastropubs and bars in Ireland, which are officially allowed to reopen from 29 June, now state that the seating time for customers will be increased from 90 to 105 minutes with an additional 15 minutes between bookings. The additional 15 minutes has been added to allow for adequate cleaning and to ensure customers leave and enter without mixing.

Another amendment to the guidelines states that businesses are now permitted to implement one-metre physical distancing in "controlled environments, provided other risk mitigation requirements have been met and pre-booked time slots are in place" and "where two-metre physical distancing is not possible".

Changes to contact tracing requirements now state that businesses are also now required to collect contact information of just the party lead. Previously, the original Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) guidance stated that this should be collected for the full group.

The new measures came after "intensive discussions" among officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and were accepted by HPSC for foodservice businesses. Fáilte Ireland said that the guidelines will evolve to reflect new government advice and changes to protocols as and when they emerge.

Paul Kelly, chief executive of Fáilte Ireland, said the guidelines were intended to provide "clarity to business to allow them to reopen safely on 29 June".

He added: "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."

Image: Shutterstock

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