New contact tracing guidelines set out for indoor dining
A new system is now in place.
Today sees the reopening of indoor dining as pubs and restaurants are given the go-ahead to serve people who have received both doses of the vaccine, accompanying children or to those who have recently recovered from Covid-19.
As establishments welcome patrons inside once more, new guidance on contact tracing has been introduced.
Last night, it was agreed that contact tracing will only be required for the lead person at a table, and for solo diners. On top of that, the system of designated tables has been removed.
Adrian Cummins, the Chief Executive of the Restaurant Association of Ireland said: "This means businesses don't have to keep a record of what table a party sat at - we only heard about these updated guidelines through an email at ten past midnight this morning."
Additionally, reopened businesses will be able to avail of the three-week double payment from the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme.
Those looking forward to indoor dining will need to bring their EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate, a HSE vaccine card and a form of ID as proof that they've been fully vaccinated, or have recently recovered from Covid-19.
The guidelines read: "Businesses may refuse access where people cannot offer proof of immunity or recovery or cannot demonstrate that their certificate relates to them."
Under-18 year olds will not need to produce any sort of proof in order to dine with their parents or guardians.
The HSE's chief executive Paul Reid said: "As hospitality, society and the economy opens up further, let's all embrace it safely and make it work."
Mr Reid pointed to the recent rise in cases and patients in the intensive care unit. However, he acknowledged that huge progress has been made in Ireland's vaccination programme.
Over 5.5 million vaccines have been administered. As of right now, 83% of adults have been partially vaccinated, while 68% have been fully vaccinated.