It’s been the longest industry lockdown in Europe.
But Ireland’s publicans can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, following confirmation that pubs that do not serve food can reopen for the first time since March on September 21st, 2020.
The date was agreed at a Cabinet meeting this morning, where the Government is also set to discuss the finer details of the new Covid-19 plan for Ireland, which is set to be published on Monday.
So-called ‘wet pubs’ across the country can now look at reopening under guidance provided by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
It is likely that further local restrictions may be put in place in cases where cases of Covid-19 are increasing.
According to draft Fáilte Ireland guidelines seen by vintners over the weekend, it seems that pubs large enough to allow for 2m social distancing between customers who are not from the same household may not need to put a time limit in place.
In bars where only 1m of physical distancing between customers is available, publicans will likely be required to operate time slots such as the 105 minutes allowed in restaurants and pubs that serve food.
According to the proposals, drinkers will be allowed to leave their seats to go to the smoking area, but they will be asked to remain seated there too.