APPROVAL FOR the extended operation of outdoor dining and consumption of alcohol will today be sought by the Minister for Justice, paving the way for an outdoor summer in Ireland.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee will ask government colleagues to agree to a sex-month extension to the legislation which will permit the sale and consumption of alcohol in outdoor areas.
The law is scheduled to lapse on 31 May but the extension will be sought until the end of November.
The law was introduced originally to deal with on-street service by pubs and restaurants which were no covered by alcohol licenses during the pandemic.
At the time, a number of pubs were warned by gardaí that alcohol could not be served outside their premises.
The minister believes that extending its provisions will support the industry as it continues to recover from the pandemic.
The legislation applies where outdoor seating areas have been permitted by the relevant local authority on public land, such as a path.
It also only applies to the land that businesses began to use during Covid restrictions as an emergency measure over the last year.
This law does not cover the likes of beer gardens that have been in use prior to the pandemic, and that are subject to the original licence agreement for a pub or restaurant.
Minister McEntee also intends to bring reform forward for the operation of pubs and nightclubs in the coming months.