105 minute slots and toilet queues - Fáilte Ireland publish guidelines for reopening pubs 3 weeks ago

105 minute slots and toilet queues - Fáilte Ireland publish guidelines for reopening pubs

The future of drinking in the pub is here.

With many Irish pubs set to reopen on 29 June, provided that they can serve a substantial meal, of course, many are wondering just how it's all going to work.

Fáilte Ireland, Ireland's tourism authority, last night published guidelines that will govern how pubs go about their business over the next several months.

Among the key directives contained within the document is one which refers to pre-booked time slots, which should be in place in all pubs, and can last no longer than 105 minutes.

The relevant paragraph reads: "Pre-booked time limited slots should be in place for customers, which are a maximum of 105 minutes duration, plus there should be a minimum of 15 minutes between bookings in order to allow for adequate cleaning and to allow customers to leave and enter, without mixing." It had originally been expected that these slots would last for 90 minutes, prior to lobbying from Fáilte Ireland.

Pubs are also encouraged to allow for bookings to be made online in order to reduce queueing outside the premises.

It has also been confirmed that pubs which cannot allow for two metres physical distancing will be allowed to operate if they can implement one metre of physical distancing.

Physical distancing will also apply to toilet usage, and "a strict queuing system and limitations on number of users must be enforced to ensure physical distancing".

Information will also be gathered by pubs for the purposes of contact tracing:

"Businesses will now be required to collect the contact information of just the party lead," the guidelines read.

"Previously, the original HPSC guidance stated that this should be collected for the full group." These details will need to be securely maintained by the pub for one month.

The document also contains details on how often cutlery, equipment, etc must be cleaned, as well as the requirement for a front of house staff member who will "control physical distancing measures".

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: "These guidelines are intended to provide clarity to businesses so that they can reopen safely on June 29th. I would like to thank my team and officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport who have been working tirelessly on ensuring these guidelines are practical while adhering to public health advice.”

Fáilte Ireland guidelines are living documents, which means as Government restrictions and Public Health guidelines evolve, these documents will also evolve to reflect new Government advice and changes to protocols when they emerge.

All pubs in Ireland are expected to have permission to reopen by 20 July.

The full guidelines can be read here.