Some changes have been introduced, with further action under discussion.
Good news for the outdoor hospitality sector came prior to the weekend (August 6), as it was revealed gatherings of 200 people could take place outdoors in Ireland. While we remain in the warmer months, this is sure to serve as a much-needed step towards the return of live music and events, despite “intermingling” between different table not yet being permitted. This number also depends on the size of the outdoor venue, and whether guests can be spaced out sufficiently.
However, pressure has continued to mount against the tougher rules on indoor hospitality, with the Restaurant Association of Ireland even as going as far as calling the measures “unworkable”.
They have pushed Failte Ireland into discussions for a less strict set of rules, which could, partially or fully, start coming into place next month.
First off, the 11.30pm curfew for all hospitality venues could be scrapped, with the argument citing that all customers leaving at once causes packed areas and buses, which often defeats the initial point of the curfew.
Speaking to The Journal, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins said: “We want normal trading hours to resume from September and then we need to start a roadmap to winding down restrictions.”
Secondly, a rethink to the opening of indoor dining for non-vaccinated people could come into play. As of now, only fully-vaccinated people can take advantage of the reopening to indoor hospitality. Soon, however, a negative PCR or antigen test could be used to gain entry, according to Cummins.
Finally, there could also be a change to the requirement of showing Covid certificates, proving that you are immune having recovered from Covid, or are fully vaccinated. Cummins believes this is “cumbersome” on staff, and a rethink could be introduced come the end of August/early September, when the entire adult population has been able to access their second vaccine.