Leo Varadkar confirms no substantial meal rule and no time limits when outdoor dining resumes
What a time to be alive.
Leo Varadkar has confirmed that there will be no substantial meal rule and no time limits on tables once restaurants and pubs reopen for outdoor service next month.
The Tánaiste said today that all restaurants and pubs will operate by table service, and that up to six people from any number of households will be permitted to meet at one table.
The Irish Examiner reports that Varadkar confirmed the news at a Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment today. Guidelines for restaurants and pubs are still being prepared by Fáilte Ireland.
"It’s going to be seated only," he said. "A metre or a metre and a half between tables, no more than six at a table and they can come from any number of households.
"There will be no rule of 15. If you have the space, you have the space. There won’t be a requirement to buy a substantial meal, that will be gone. And we don’t anticipate that there will be a limit on the amount of time you can stay."
The Tánaiste added that the government is hopeful that indoor dining will be permitted to resume from July, Covid case numbers permitting.
"It is our hope and intention to allow indoor dining to resume in early July and hopefully some mass events as well," he said.
"As always there are other factors. It’s not just the vaccines. It is case numbers, which seem to be rising again. also the situation in hospitals which continues to improve and the issue around variants and we do have a concern about the Indian variant. "
The government announced Ireland's roadmap for reopening the economy some weeks ago. Earlier this week, non-essential retail resumed for the first time since Christmas, while hairdressers and barbers reopened their doors on May 10.