01 Oct 2022

EXPLAINER: 'Out by 11.30pm' - What are the rules for wet pubs reopening this month?

Pubs across Ireland have been told they can re-open under strict guideline from September 21.

Cabinet ministers met on Tuesday morning to formalise the date and approve guidelines for reopening the so-called 'wet pubs' of Ireland who do not serve food and have been closed since mid-March.

The reopening is subject to local restrictions, meaning pubs in counties in local lockdowns will not be permitted to re-open There are currently no counties under such restrictions but NPHET has warned that Covid-19 case numbers in Dublin and Limerick are of huge concern.

Offaly, Kildare and Laois were placed under a local lockdown last month after a rise in cases but have since seen numbers fall and businesses reopen once again.

What are the guidelines for wet pubs?

NPHET and Cabinet have drawn up and agreed guidelines for the reopening of wet pubs and they are largely similar to those in place in gastro pubs which reopened in June.

However, the 105-minute time limit on groups at tables will be abolished in establishments where the two-metre social distancing rule can be implemented and strictly maintained.

The 105-minute rule will apply in pubs where distancing of just one metre is possible.

People must still remain at their tables and be served rather than standing and ordering from the bar.

Customers must be off the premises of wet pubs by 11.30pm at night. 

Customers must remain seated in smoking areas of bars. 

Pubs must keep a record of the arrival times of their customers as well as their contact details.

Group numbers will be limited to six people from no more than three households.

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