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Irish pubs: The new plan for stage when pubs can reopen with key rule scrapped in Government announcement

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the Government’s New Living With Lockdown plan on Tuesday and there was little mention of pubs.

The plan, formally named COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead, lays out guidelines for when we can see a re-opening of the country.

The Government is taking a ‘cautious approach’ in order to make steady progress in re-opening.

They’re starting with childcare and schools to avoid a further wave of disease and re-imposition of restrictions.

The Government wants to protect the most vulnerable by implementing an efficient rollout of the vaccination programme, as well as remaining vigilant and agile regarding uncertainties in the face of new variants of Covid-19.

The plan also lays the foundations for the full recovery of Ireland’s social life, public services and the economy.

With that in mind, when will we be able to get back into the pubs having pints?

Ireland is currently in a Level 5 lockdown, meaning that pubs will remain closed until we move back into Level 4.

In Level 4, pubs will not re-open to how we knew them before the pandemic. Restaurants and cafes will be able to open for take-away and delivery and outdoor dining or service to an “absolute maximum” of 15 people.

Nightclubs, discos and casinos will also remain closed.

When we move into Level 3, wet pubs will be able re-open with some ‘added restrictions’.

Level Two will see a much better experience when heading back to our favourite locals.

They will be open with protective measures in place including physical distancing, table service only, cleaning regimes and noise controls expected.

Maximum numbers in restaurants and cafes will be linked to capacity of the establishment with individual groups limited to 6 people from the same household.

The €9 meal rule will be scrapped, which means trips to the pub might be a little less expensive.

The plan states: “Max numbers in bars linked to capacity of establishment, taking account of appropriate social distancing, but
with individual groups limited to 6 people from no more than three households or the prevailing advice on the mixing of households.”

Level One will simply be a step further and allow more households, although social distancing will remain.