Pubs in Ireland set to reopen but local lockdowns loom

Pubs in Ireland set to reopen but local lockdowns loom

All pubs will be allowed to open from September 21 with some guidelines. File image. 

Cabinet has agreed that "wet pubs" that do not serve food will reopen from 21 September.

The proposal was agreed to in a bumper cabinet discussion early on Tuesday morning, after sustained lobbying by vintners as well as a number of TDs.

One senior source has confirmed to the Irish Examiner that although the reopening has been agreed, they would be subject "to any local restriction that may be in place in areas, and they'd have to effectively open with no bar service etc".

"Dublin and Limerick on a knife-edge. Would not be surprised if we saw more restrictions there."

Draft guidelines for the serving of alcohol, drawn up in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, were circulated to vintners' groups over the weekend, and the announcement had been expected this week.

The guidelines are similar to those brought in for pubs serving food, with instructions on hygiene and time-limited stays, limited to one hour and 45 minutes where physical distancing of one metre can be maintained.

Where physical distancing of two metres can be "strictly maintained" time slots of 105 minutes are not required.

Customer records for contact tracing purposes must also be kept.

The rest of the cabinet discussion is set to focus on Brexit for the majority of the meeting as Ireland grapples with sustained reporting from Westminster journalist's that Britain is planning on reneging on set-agreements about their withdrawal from the EU.

Other pressing issues related to the pandemic such as the updated "Green list" and the starting of spectator sports will be dealt with in the Government's 'Living With Covid-19' plan, set to be published next Monday.

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