Indoor dining finally returns in Ireland with two last-minute rule changes

Indoor dining finally returns in Ireland with two last-minute rule changes

PUBS and restaurants across Ireland finally swung open their doors for the first time in over seven months today as indoor dining made its triumphant return.

While outdoor dining has been available since early June, Monday marks the first time in 2021 that the country's hospitality sector is fully open, as many of Ireland's pubs, restaurants and cafés don't have outdoor spaces to seat customers.

It also marks the first time many 'wet pubs' have opened since the pandemic began.

Last week, the Government released a set of guidelines outlining the rules customers must follow if they wish to access indoor areas, but a couple of last-minute changes have been added.

Contact-tracing details now only need to be provided by the 'lead person' at any given table, while designated tables are no longer a requirement, meaning businesses do not have to keep records of which group sat at which table.

Vaccine certificates will still be required for anyone looking to access indoor areas. These certificates have been sent to every adult in the country who has either had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or who has recovered from the virus in the past six months.

QR code scanners will be used on the door, but paper vaccine passes will also be accepted.

Guidelines also dictate that a maximum of six people aged 13 or over are allowed to sit at one table. This limit does not include accompanying children aged 12 or below.

The total combined capacity at a table is not allowed to exceed 15 overall, while multiple tables cannot be booked.

Proof of identity will also be required for customers. Anyone with a vaccine pass must be able to prove that the certificate does indeed belong to them, while children may have to prove they are under the age of 13 if there are more than six people at the table.

Pubs and restaurants will have to be closed at 11.30pm, but there are no limits on how long customers are allowed to stay.