People must spend €9 for 'substantial meal' for pubs to reopen

People will have to spend at least €9 when they buy a 'substantial meal' in pubs when they reopen at the end of the month.
People must spend €9 for 'substantial meal' for pubs to reopen

People will have to spend at least €9 when they buy a 'substantial meal' in pubs when they reopen at the end of the month.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre says pubs, cafes and restaurants will only have to stick to one-metre social distance rules in certain circumstances.

Some pubs are set to reopen at the end of this month if they serve food like a restaurant. Under the Government's original plan to reopen society, pubs were not supposed to open until August.

The new guidance has been issued to Fáilte Ireland, which is looking for clarity on some aspects.

Fáilte Ireland said it had received “detailed guidance” from the HPSC "aimed at facilitating the safe reopening of food service businesses, including pubs that serve food.

“The guidelines refer to various measures and arrangements, including a potential reduction of the current 2-metre physical distancing restriction to 1-metre in certain circumstances.”

Fáilte Ireland said it is working through the guidance document in consultation with officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport “to seek clarity on some aspects in order to fully update and incorporate this guidance into our sector specific operational guidelines for food service businesses.

It added: “Fáilte Ireland’s guidelines for pubs (which include pubs, gastro pubs and bars) will be published in the coming days. The guidelines will state that from June 29th pubs that serve food and meet other features expected of a restaurant may reopen.

“Any food offering will be required to be a substantial meal (as defined by the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1962: 'the meal is such as might be expected to be served as a main midday or evening meal or as a main course in either such meal') and will be required to be of a kind for which it would be reasonable to charge not less than €9.”

Paul Hayden, Fáilte Ireland's head of food, has no issues with the €9 limit for people buying food in pubs.

“The guidance there defines a substantial meal and puts a value on it,” he said.

“This is as defined but the Intoxicating Liquor Act in 1962, so that’s the legislation that is in place.

“Most businesses would understand that aspect of it.”

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