There will be no time limit or requirement to buy a substantial meal in order to drink outdoors in beer gardens from June 7, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.
Outdoor dining and drinking in restaurants and bars is to be allowed from that date unless there is a significant deterioration in the public health situation.
The specific guidelines and rules for restauranteurs and publicans are currently being prepared by Fáilte Ireland. However speaking today, at the Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment
the Tániaste said the guidelines will allow for tables of up to six people drawn from any number of households.
"It’s going to be seated only. A metre or a metre and a half between tables, no more than six at a table and they can come from any number of households," Mr Varadkar said.
"There will be no rule of 15. If you have the space, you have the space. There won’t be a requirement to buy a substantial meal, that will be gone. And we don’t anticipate that there will be a limit on the amount of time you can stay."
The Tánaiste said the relaxation of rules on outdoor dining will hopefully be followed by the go-ahead for indoor dining in early July.
"It is our hope and intention to allow indoor dining to resume in early July and hopefully some mass events as well.
"As always there are other factors. It’s not just the vaccines. It’s case numbers which seem to be rising again, also the situation in hospitals which continues to improve and the issue around variants and we do have a concern about the Indian variant. There is some evidence in the UK of increased transmission and hospitalisation," he said.