Guidelines for how restaurants will reopen to be published

Industry group critical of delay in producing final guidelines

Guidelines detailing how restaurants can operate when they reopen at the end of the month are to be published by Fáilte Ireland on Friday morning.

Earlier this week the tourism body published guidelines for how pubs can reopen on June 29th, if they operate as restaurants.

Under that guidance, pubs and bars will be allowed to implement one-metre physical distancing in “permitted controlled environments,” rather than the current two-metre rule.

Pubs will be required to serve a “substantial meal” costing at least €9, the guidelines state.


Physical distancing of at least one metre should be maintained between people seated at tables. Customers will also have to be seated at a table except when using the toilet, paying and departing.

Customers will have to leave the premises after 105 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes between bookings to allow for the area to be cleaned.

Pre-booking will be encouraged as much as possible and a text may be sent to remind the customer to stay away if unwell.

Fáilte Ireland had published early guidance for how restaurants could operate during the coronavirus pandemic on June 9th, based on businesses observing the two-metre distancing rule.

Those guidelines included restaurateurs being asked to tell customers verbally what is on the menu, avoiding share plates, group tour sizes being reduced, and buffet-style services being avoided.

Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), was critical of the delay in producing the final guidelines for the sector.

The industry group’s members had been left “in the dark” 11 days before the sector was due to reopen, he said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times