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Social distancing rules could be relaxed to 1metre for hospitality sector

By Sarah Finnan

June 9, 2020 at 9:32am


NPHET is examining the 2metre social distancing rule as it pertains to the hospitality sector, looking into reducing current guidelines to 1metre ahead of many businesses reopening next month.

With cafes, restaurants and other establishments in the hospitality industry gearing up to reopen in the next couple of weeks, there has been much speculation as to how social distancing measures will allow for business to resume. As it stands, the current guidelines call for a minimum of 2metres distance to be upheld between people at all times. However, it has been revealed that NPHET is looking into the feasibility of reducing that distance to 1metre for periods when the Covid-19 transmission rate is low.

There have been several calls to reevaluate the current measures given that many say adhering to them would not allow for business to be profitable - which would ultimately lead to thousands of hospitality workers losing their jobs. Speaking on the matter, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said on Monday that the situation is under review:

“We think we could make a further contribution, if you like, to the continued assurance of safety of both staff and customers in the hospitality sector over the course of periods of low transmission, while recognising that there will a be a continuing challenge for them in meeting some of the restrictions.

So, that’s work that we are doing the moment, and we’ll give further advice to government when we’ve completed those pieces of guidance.”

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