- 06 Aug 21
The updated guidelines come in the wake of this week's controversy surrounding an event organised by former minister Katherine Zappone at the Merrion Hotel last month.
Fáilte Ireland have released their updated guidelines for organised outdoor events following advice from the Attorney General.
The new guidelines state that venues can now cater for a maximum of 200 people, in line with advice given to the government by AG Paul Gallagher earlier this week.
The government have released a statement today noting that "The guidelines have also been updated to allow for live music and other performances outdoors in hospitality settings, subject to all of the relevant public health guidance."
Multiple tables can now be booked in outdoor areas, but no intermingling between the tables is permitted and the 11.30pm curfew is still in place.
The management of a premises must be responsible for minimising the number of arrival and departure points for customers and there must be dedicated employees to monitor and manage physical distancing rather than relying simply on signs.
Live music and performances are permitted in outdoor hospitality settings, subject to adherence with all relevant Covid-19 guidance, and provided the performance area is a minimum of 2 metres from customers.
The advice also notes that weddings fall under a different regulation, and remain limited to a maximum of 100 guests.
This updated advice comes in the wake of the controversy earlier this week surrounding an event organised by former minister Katherine Zappone on the grounds of the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, which was attended by 50 guests including the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, on July 21st.
On Wednesday the Government Press Office released a statement saying the Attorney General had advised that organised events and gatherings could take place for up to 200 people “including social, recreational, exercise, cultural, entertainment or community events”, clarifying that the event at the Merrion was within the law, but was not reflected in the Failte Ireland guidelines given to the hospitality industry.
The updated guidelines were sent to businesses today after meetings between government officials and the tourism board on Thursday.
According to Adrian Cummins of the Restaurant Association Ireland, the new guidelines are 'unworkable'. "We're not happy. These will be very difficult to implement," he said.
"Trying to police the intermingling of tables will be a big issue straight away. If you have 33 tables of six, how do you stop people moving from table to table? Have someone to mind them? We'll be looking for a future meeting with government to discuss how to police this."
However, the Vintners' Federation of Ireland have welcomed the updated guidelines.
"The new guidelines make clear we’re moving towards a full reopening of society and it’s now only a matter of time before all restrictions in pubs such as mandatory table service and the ban on people sitting at bar counters are removed," Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said.
All of Fáilte Ireland's operational guidelines for Covid-19 can be viewed here.
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