New indoor dining guidelines demand that restaurants ask diners to chat quietly
Indoor dining is expected to return in July.
But while we await confirmation of the exact date when pubs and restaurants can begin welcoming customers inside again, new Fáilte Ireland guidelines suggest that eating out will be a reserved affair this summer.
As well as an 11.30pm curfew, a maximum of six people per outdoor table from June 7th, and a ban on live music, the guidelines, released yesterday, recommend that venues implement strict rules to control noise levels when indoor dining is eventually permitted.
“According to the WHO, transmission of COVID-19 can occur through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people through infected secretions such as saliva and respiratory secretions or droplets, which are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, etc.” the document explains.
“In adherence with WHO evidence, recent Public Health advice states that there must be a restriction on noise levels within restaurants to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
“High noise levels within a premises can impact conversation negatively and encourage customers to raise their voice to communicate thus encouraging possible transmission of the virus.”
Businesses ‘must put a plan in place’
“Straining to hear others due to high volumes can cause people to move closer to each other and not adhere to social distancing. To avoid this, businesses must put in place a plan and take appropriate measures to control noise levels, to ensure volumes do not rise to a level where people are required to take such measures to hear others.”
The guidelines require signage relating to these COVID-19 preventative measures must be displayed in visible locations to inform customers.
“Intervention will be required by management in a situation where customers do not follow this advice.”