Re-Opening of Indoor Hospitality
From Monday 26th July (today), indoor hospitality will reopen for people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 6 months, as well as children under 18 in their care. A new Document, The EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC), will be the primary form of evidence used when a person would like to access indoor hospitality for e.g pubs, restaurants and cafés. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is currently being provided to the public all over the country via email and by post.
Other proofs of immunity will be set out in regulations and will include the HSE COVID-19 Vaccination Record. You may also be asked for photo ID to prove that the EU Digital COVID Certificate, HSE COVID-19 Vaccination Record or other proof of immunity is yours. Contact tracing details will still need t be provided by customers with the exception of those under 18.
To protect ourselves and others, we still need to adhere to all of the public health behaviours that keep us and our loved ones safe – these include hand hygiene, physical distancing, face coverings when moving through indoor spaces. People should also remember that outdoor spaces are preferable to indoor spaces.
Consumers: What you need to know
- You will be asked to present your certificate or HSE COVID-19 Vaccination Record or other proof of immunity at the entrance to the premises or seating area you plan to enter. Customers may also be asked to present a photo ID to show that the proof of immunity relates to them
- Businesses will have access to an online scanner that can scan the QR code on your EU Digital COVID Certificate
- There is a delay of up to 15 days between receiving your second vaccination and the immunity necessary to activate your certificate, depending on the vaccine received
- If a customer leaves the premises for any reason they will have to notify a staff member. Ideally, they will then be provided with a pass which must be returned or checked on re-entry
- Businesses may refuse access where people cannot offer proof of vaccination or recovery or cannot demonstrate that their certificate relates to them. If businesses do not operate on this basis, they may be liable for fines or closure
- Following public health advice, there is now no limit to the amount of time consumers can sit at tables
- There is no requirement for pre-booking, however businesses may decide to operate this approach
- A maximum of 6 persons aged 13 or over are permitted at a table. This limit of 6 does not include accompanying children aged 12 or younger. The total combined capacity at a table cannot exceed over 15 people.
- You should wear a face mask at all times other than when sitting at your table
Businesses: What you need to know
- All staff will continue to wear appropriate PPE including face masks at all times
- Counter service remains prohibited. The regulations will provide for people to be served at tables only. This is to protect unvaccinated workers
- There is no change to closing time – currently COVID-19 regulations require all premises to close at 11.30pm.
- Indoor areas should be well-ventilated
- Access to businesses is being restricted to those who are vaccinated or recovered as the risk is still high, however the system will be kept under review
- Businesses will not retain any personal data relating to a person’s vaccination or immunity status
- An online QR code scanner has been developed to help verify people’s EU Digital COVID Certificates
Guidelines and Legislation
The Health and Safety Authority and HSE have been designated in the legislation as having a role in assessing compliance, however, we all have a role to play in making sure that the system works and indoor hospitality can reopen.
Fáilte Ireland continues to operate its COVID-19 safety charter. Businesses who sign up to this voluntary charter are subject to spot checks which confirm that the business is complying with all public health protocols and government guidelines and that all employees have undertaken infection prevention control training. For consumers, they should look for the safety charter signage.
Fáilte Ireland have published new guidelines to support businesses in operating this system and developed support materials for businesses to communicate with their customers which are available on their website. For information on these operational guidelines for the hospitality industry follow the link here:
Guidance for indoor hospitality