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Indoor dining guidelines to be published

Officials met on Friday to finalise the regulations that will begin to operate from Monday.


(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

(Brian Lawless/PA)

Guidelines for reopening indoor bars and restaurants are to be published on Friday evening.

Officials met earlier to finalise the regulations that will begin to operate from Monday when indoor dining opens to the public.

Following lengthy talks and several meetings in recent weeks between Government officials and industry representatives, the plans have been given the green light.

It is understood the guidelines will state that every customer will have to provide their name and phone number before entering a premises.

It's about balancing the reopening of society and people's quality of life with public healthMicheal Martin

Personal details will have to be produced alongside a copy of a Covid certificate to show they are either fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus in the last six months.

This has caused frustration in the hospitality industry as previous rules required only one person to provide contacts details on behalf of a group.

All entrance points will have to be covered by staff who will use a scanner to check the status of each customer.

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The guidelines are to be published at around 7pm.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said there has been a lot of engagement between the hospitality industry and Government departments.

“The regulations have to be completed and they have to be exact in terms of the legal parameters within which people will operate, but also the guidelines themselves will also issue in good time before the reopening,” Mr Martin said.

“The chief medical officer has a view that the staff are better protected by just serving only vaccinated people within an indoor setting, but that said, the vaccination problem is running very fast.

“We now, in the last two weeks, have the fastest running vaccination programme in the world.”

Mr Martin said uptake is very high among different age cohorts.

“We are ahead of schedule, so there’s opportunities in the 18 to 25-year-olds now can register with the portal and we will be shortly moving to 16 to 18-year-olds.

“Niac (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) will be giving advice then in respect of children and that will be in the next week or so.

“We are moving very fast.”

He said the decision to roll out vaccines through age cohorts has been “fairly efficient, fast and effective”.

“I think that’s the most effective way to do it,” he added.

“It’s about balancing the reopening of society and people’s quality of life with public health. Those are the essentially calls we have to make.

“We all have obligations, individuals as well, who will be availing of the facilities, we have obligations to comply.

“We need to trust people as well. There will always be a few here and there.

“Generally speaking, we’ve all learned through the pandemic what can happen when things go wrong.

“So I think individually there’s a lot of responsibility, and I think people will comply with this more generally.

“We’re in a difficult phase of the Delta variant. The numbers are increasing.”

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