Irish pubs could be penalised if they are found to be disobeying regulations put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Many pubs around Ireland reopened their doors to the public this week, allowed to do so on the basis that they can serve customers a substantial meal costing at least €9. A comprehensive 22-page document released by Fáilte Ireland details some of the measures pubs are expected to implement and owners are being warned that sanctions will incur should they be found disobeying the guidelines.
According to the finalised guidelines, parties will be allowed to spend a maximum of one hour and 45 minutes in a premises with a 15-minute gap between bookings necessary to allow for cleaning and to ensure groups don't mix. Pubs will need to collect contact information for one person in each party in order to facilitate contact tracing if it is required. A physical distancing of two metres should be maintained, however, this can be reduced to one metre if other risk mitigation requirements have been met.
Health and safety inspectors across the country will be carrying out checks in the coming weeks to make sure that protocol is being adhered to, with sanctions to be issued if a venue is found in breach of the rules. The Irish Times reports that while there will be no criminal penalties, pubs may be inspected by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) or face difficulty in renewing their licence.
It's believed that over 5,000 checks have already been carried out.
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