Restaurants and pubs without outdoor catering facilities are set to close as all of Ireland moves into Level Three of the Living with COVID strategy.
On Sunday evening, it emerged that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) advised the Government to implement Level Five restrictions throughout the entire country in response to the rising COVID-19 infection rate.
However, the Government is likely to reject the NPHET recommendation, instead moving every county to Level Three restrictions.
While many will breathe a sigh of relief at this news, as Level Three allows home visits, outdoor dining and sporting events to continue, many business owners and workers in the hospitality industry are facing a significant setback.
Under Level Three restrictions, restaurants, cafes and pubs are only allowed to provide takeaway or outdoor dining services for a maximum of 15 people.
Consequently, all premises without the facilities to meet Level Three requirements will be obliged to close their doors to customers shortly after the Government’s decision is confirmed.
Similar to the restrictions already in place in Dublin, all restaurants, cafes and bars will be forced to close for indoor service once Level Three restrictions are implemented, but will be allowed to continue providing takeaway, delivery and outdoor seating services.
Wet pubs will not be forced to shut but, similar to restaurants and cafes, will only be able to serve if outdoor seating is provided.