Another week, another round of Covid-19 announcements and unfortunately, Ireland is not where we would have hoped when the original five part roadmap for re-opening the economy was announced earlier in the summer.
Yes, we’ve been wearing masks, social distancing, dining in under two hours and plenty more besides but on Tuesday afternoon the Government announced another tightening of restrictions.
Indoor and outdoor gatherings will take a hit until 13 September – indoor gatherings reduced to six, outdoor at 15 (down from 200), though restaurants and cafés will follow separate guidelines.
So what does it mean for restaurants and cafés in Ireland?
Covid-19 restrictions: Restaurants & Cafés
Effective now until 13 September, the following additional restrictions will be in place for restaurants, cafés, pubs that serve food and hotel restaurants
- Should close by 11.30pm
- All customer facing staff to wear face coverings
- All customers to wear face coverings until seated and again on departure
- Requirement to keep contact details to support contact tracing
- All customers to be seated at a table, with no seating allowed at the bar and table service only
- Maximum of 6 seated at a table
- No formal or informal events or parties should be organised in these premises
- All tables must have hand sanitiser.
Admittedly, I’ve not been to many eateries since 29 June. Those I have been to all had staff wearing face coverings, two of three I was required to provide contact details for (one a booking, one a walk-in) and there have been sanitiser points on arrival
Getting there mind you, might be another thing. The latest guidelines on travel and transport also suggest that people should avoid using public transport where possible for the next three weeks.
Gardaí are also to be given powers to enforce guidelines and rules in relation to social gatherings, including those for restaurants and bars (closing times etc.)