Government asked to ease "confusion" over outdoor dining rules

By James Fenton

June 21, 2021 at 9:37am


The Restaurants Association have called on the Government to ease confusion on the legality of outdoor dining areas.

An Garda Síochána issued a statement yesterday which said that drinking alcohol in temporary outdoor seating areas isn't allowed if restaurants and pubs don't have the necessary licence. These licences are issued by the courts are granted for a ‘specified area’ only.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Restaurants Association Chief Executive Adrian Cummins said "we want the Government to step in and give an order so that outdoor hospitality can operate, right across the country. This has to be fixed as soon as possible, or else the Government now needs to fast-forward the reopening of indoor dining. This is totally confusing now for hospitality businesses across the country. Businesses want to do the right thing, and make sure they implement the rules and guidelines as per the public health guidelines.”

Justice Minister Heather Humphreys has responded this morning to say "I have been in regular contact with the Garda Commissioner on the issue of outdoor dining and how best An Garda Síochána will work to facilitate us all enjoying an outdoor summer. We spoke again this morning. The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardai and businesses to engage. However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licencing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary.

Outdoor dining reopened on June 8, with indoor hospitality expected to follow on July 5.

(header pic: Shutterstock)

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