THE IRISH public can return to pubs. restaurants and cafés for the first time in months today as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
The hospitality sector in Ireland has reopened for outdoor dining and drinking, some pubs for the first time since March 2020, as the Government's roadmap out of the pandemic has allowed for a significant easing of restrictions after the country went into lockdown in December 2020.
From today, pubs, restaurants and cafés can serve customers outdoors providing there is at least one metre between seats, in what will be a huge boost to the economy and allow thousands to return to work.
Other restrictions easing today will allow up to 25 guests at a wedding, cinemas and theatres can reopen and indoor house visits between two households can take place once more.
Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres can also reopen from today for individual training only, and some spectators can return to outdoor events: a maximum of 100 attendees for the majority of venues, or a maximum of 200 for outdoor venues with a full capacity of 5,000 in normal times.
Unlike last year, pubs will not be restricted to having to serve a €9 'substantial meal', allowing 'wet pubs' to reopen along with the rest of the hospitality sector, and many towns and cities have implemented pedestrianisation of streets to allow for a larger capacity for outdoor dining.
Outdoor amusements, theme parks and funfairs can also reopen from today, ahead of schools closing for the summer months and Irish families planning 'staycations' in Ireland.
The newest wave of reopening comes after last week's reopening of hotels, hostel and B&Bs.
As the Government allows for the 'cautious' reopening of society, multiple pilot events aiming to study the potential for the return of mass gatherings are set to take place: small crowds at sporting events, outdoor and indoor concerts will take place in the coming weeks across the country.