Final guidelines for the reopening of indoor dining from Monday, July 26th are set to be considered by the Cabinet on Wednesday.
Representatives from the restaurant and bar sectors held meetings with Government officials on Tuesday ahead of the planned reopening of indoor service next week.
Discussions centred around trading hours, social distancing between tables and ventilation in bars and restaurants.
It is understood that a digital Covid certificate checker is being developed by Government Information Services for businesses and customers in order to check valid certificates.
The Irish Times reports that this will be ready next week and will come in the form of an app, although paper certs will also be accepted in the form of the card fully vaccinated people are given.
Time limits and children
While it is expected that set time limits for dining will be removed from the guidelines on the basis of public health advice, an 11:30pm closing time will remain but will be reviewed.
Under previous guidelines, there was set to be a time limit of 105 minutes.
It is believed that unvaccinated children will be allowed to eat indoors as long as they are accompanied by vaccinated adults and seated two metres away from other tables.
There was also a “significant update” in ventilation guidelines including increasing air flow, air extraction systems and the use of CO2 monitors as recommended in the Government’s Work Safely Protocol.
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It is understood officials are still working out how the system will be enforced but it will be environmental health officers who carry out checks.
Following the meeting, Adrian Cummins from the Restaurants Association of Ireland called for a “robust inspection regime by the State to give confidence to the general public that restaurants, pubs and cafes are a safe place for indoor dining for customers vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid in the past nine months”.
Earlier, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said restaurants and bars applying the new guidelines would be “critical” to the reopening of indoor dining.
—Additional reporting by Press Association.