DUBLIN: The Cabinet sub-committee approved the reopening of restaurants and gastro pubs. The decision is to reopen from December 7. The Cabinet sub-committee met yesterday to discuss the NPHET recommendations regarding granting exemptions from Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.
The final decision will be announced subject to the decision of the Cabinet.
The government is also considering a proposal to allow travel outside the county from December 18. People may be allowed to gather around Christmas carols with strict restrictions.
The NPHET had warned the government of the dangers of reopening the hospitality sector. However, there are indications that the cabinet has ignored the ban. Pubs that serve only alcohol are likely to remain closed. But gastro pubs that serve beer, low-alcohol drinks and food are allowed to open.
Ministers will reconsider dates for the reopening of these sectors on Friday, December 4th. The decision is to take effect on December 7 so that restaurants and bars that serve food during the Christmas season will have three busy weekends. There will be new rules to increase the distance between the tables. In addition, the time that customers can spend here will be reduced from the previous one hour and 45 minutes time limit.
People can visit worship centers and attend religious services in December but there will be safety measures in place for choirs. From December 18 to January 3, people can travel across the country. However, in-house gatherings will not be allowed until December 18.