The Government have published their long-awaited roadmap for living alongside COVID-19, dubbed ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19’.
But what does it mean for Irish restaurants, cafés and bars?
There are levels to this thing
First off, there’s a tiered system involved and the country – at time of writing – is parked at level two, and this remains in effect until 4 October. At this level, things continue as they have been for the past number of weeks.
There are five tiers or levels of response, each increase in level bringing in stricter measures from relative openness through to the lockdown conditions experienced in March and April. The aim, per the report (linked at the end of the post) is to allow Irish society and businesses to be able to operate as normally as possible, while continuing to suppress the virus.
Each level in the plan, which can be viewed in full here, outlines what is allowed for social and family gatherings, restaurants, cafés and bars, hotels, work and public transport.
So-called ‘wet pubs’ (those that don’t serve food, typically) will be allowed return to trading from 21 September, with the exception of pubs in Dublin.
Bars, cafés, restaurants (including hotel restaurants/bars)
- Open with protective measures (physical distancing, table service only, cleaning regimes, noise control etc.)
- Max numbers in restaurants, cafes and bars linked to capacity of establishment, taking account of appropriate social distancing.
- Protective measures as per level one; max numbers linked to capacity, taking account of public health advice, but with individual groups limited to 6 people from up to 3 households. This measure is in place at time of writing until 4 October 2020.
- As per level two, with additional restrictions (unspecified in report) for indoor dining
- As per level three, only now no indoor dining will be permitted. Instead, cafés and restaurants will be limited to take away food or delivery service only. Outdoor dining will be permitted to a max of 15 patrons.
- Outdoor dining will not be permitted and service is reduced to takeaway or delivery only.
Wet bars, or those that don’t typically serve food, will follow the same restrictions per level as bars, cafés and restaurants. At level two, appropriate social distancing must be taken into consideration along with the prevailing advice on mixing households.
Additional restrictions would be introduced at level three, outdoor seating only for a max of 15 patrons at level four.
Hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs
Level 1 & 2
- All hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs open with protective measures (e.g. staff face coverings, signage, hand sanitiser, regular cleaning of hard surfaces, retaining customer contact details for contact tracing).
- Open, but services are limited to residents only (will be closed to public/drop ins)
- Open, but only for existing guests, and those with essential non-social and non-tourist purposes.
Open only for those with essential non-social and non-tourist purposes
Per gov.ie, “The Framework for Restrictive Measures is a risk management strategy for the next The Framework for Restrictive Measures is a risk management strategy for the next 6-9 months. It is designed to allow individuals, families, businesses and services better 6-9 months.
“It is designed to allow individuals, families, businesses and services better understand, anticipate and prepare for the measures Government might introduce to stop understand, anticipate and prepare for the measures Government might introduce to stop escalation of the transmission of the disease.”