Buffets and carveries permitted under new indoor hospitality guidance
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar welcomed the clarification regarding food counter service.
Buffets and carveries are now permitted in pubs and restaurants in Ireland following a clarification to Fáilte Ireland's indoor hospitality guidelines.
The guidelines now read: "Customers can avail of both table service and service from a food service counter (e.g. carvery, self service or buffet)."
When operating a food counter service such as a self-service carvery or buffet, "robust physical distancing measures must be implemented" by businesses, according to the guidelines.
They must also ensure other guidelines are adhered to, including displaying public health signage, ensuring adequate ventilation and increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting at food counter service areas.
The management of the queuing system should also be overseen by dedicated employees.
In situations where a business does not have the facility or capacity to allow customers to queue or cannot adhere to any of the requirements required, table service must be used.
In a statement, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Tourism Minister Catherine Martin welcomed the clarification of the guidance.
"While table service is the safest mode of service, counter service can be permitted where safe queueing and compliance with other key requirements can be implemented," the statement read.
"This will also apply to food service outlets in retail settings including food courts."
Read the latest guidance in full here.