Outdoor areas in bars should be non-smoking during social distancing, doctors say

Outdoor areas in bars should be non-smoking during social distancing, doctors say

The Health Minister is being urged to make all outdoor areas in bars non-smoking zones when they reopen.

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) has written to Simon Harris to ask him to implement the proposal.

They say pubs are planning to use these areas for social distancing when they reopen in August.

Professor Des Cox, from the RCPI, says smoking needs to be banned in that case.

"If outdoor areas are now to be used for social distancing that means that non-smokers are now going to be co-habiting these areas with smokers potentially.

"What we are asking for is that smoking should be prohibited from all areas of the pubs when they reopen while social distancing practices are in place."

Prof. Cox said that in the proposals set out by Vintners they intend to supply table service.

"If bar staff are providing table service to the customers they too will be exposed to second-hand smoke so we are asking that these areas be designated as non-smoking areas."

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