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29th Jun 2021

Indoor dining to be considered for fully vaccinated people only

Fiona Frawley

The cabinet are meeting today to discuss a proposal for a system allowing only those who are fully vaccinated to eat and drink inside bars and restaurants.

The proposal comes following concerns from NPHET regarding the impact of the Delta variant in Ireland.

This would mean that the reopening of indoor hospitality, initially scheduled for next Monday would be significantly delayed to allow time for a system to be established.

It is understood that the cabinet has decided that such a system could be developed by 19th July.

The proposal to allow only fully-vaccinated people to dine and drink indoors was raised at the cabinet’s sub-committee on Covid yesterday evening, with discussions on the matter continuing to 1 this morning.

When asked about hospitality services on his way to the Cabinet meet, Minister for Transport and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said “it is likely to be delayed… We have to make a decision in cabinet but yes I’d expect that”.

He went on to say “That’s one of the recommendations from NPHET… to show vaccination status. I was out on Sunday myself expressing some of the difficulties around that so we’ll have to consider it and look at how we manage it.”

The Restaurants Association of Ireland however, has said the proposed system would be “unworkable and not legal”. Chief executive Adrian Cummins said on the subject “they have come up with this plan at the 11th hour of the 11th hour with absolutely no planning. We have had a number of setbacks in this industry and this is another one.”

A number of restauranteurs have expressed their disappointment following the proposal:

The issue has also been raised of staff working in pubs and restaurants, and their vaccination status if this new proposal is to come into place:

The government is expected to make an announcement regarding the restrictions later today.

Header image via Shutterstock