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Indoor dining guidelines to be published

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

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(Artur Widak/PA)

(Artur Widak/PA)

(Artur Widak/PA)

Guidelines for reopening indoor bars and restaurants are expected 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.

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.

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

Discussions on the regulations were continuing late on Friday.

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.

We all have obligations, individuals as well, who will be availing of the facilities, we have obligations to complyMicheal Martin

“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… 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.

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Micheal Martin said there had been engagement between the hospitality industry and Government (Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin said there had been engagement between the hospitality industry and Government (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Micheal Martin said there had been engagement between the hospitality industry and Government (Brian Lawless/PA)

“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.”

A further 1,386 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Ireland.

On Friday morning, there were 106 Covid-positive patients in hospital, with 22 in intensive care.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: “This pandemic has provided a prime example of how easily misinformation can spread online, and many people have been exposed to information that is false, inaccurate or misleading.

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Dr Ronan Glynn (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Ronan Glynn (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Dr Ronan Glynn (Brian Lawless/PA)

“This is known as misinformation and it started to spread about potential Covid-19 vaccines even before any had been developed.

“Unfortunately, it has undermined vaccination efforts in many countries, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk.

“All of us together can help to stop the spread of misinformation. Remember not every post on social media is reliable or accurate – if you are not sure, then don’t share.

“In Ireland we are fortunate to have very high levels of vaccine confidence with fantastic uptake across all age groups to date.

“Of course, many people will have questions about their vaccine but it is important that they access accurate and reliable information in order to get these questions answered.

“Do not rely on unsubstantiated information shared online. Instead go to trusted sources including hse.ie and gov.ie.

“GPs and healthcare professionals will also be able to answer any questions you may have when you go to your vaccine appointment.”


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