CONFIRMED: Restaurants and pubs must close at 11.30 pm, no live music and maximum of six adults per table 4 months ago

CONFIRMED: Restaurants and pubs must close at 11.30 pm, no live music and maximum of six adults per table

Under the Fáilte Ireland guidelines released today, there will also be a time limit of 105 minutes on indoor dining.

Restaurants will need to stick to a maximum of six adults and nine children per table when they reopen, under new guidelines issued by Fáilte Ireland today.

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Pubs and restaurants will also need to close by 11.30 pm and no live music will be allowed under the new guidelines.

A time limit of 105 minutes will also apply to indoor dining in cases where a two-metre social distancing of tables cannot be maintained. There will be no time limit for outdoor tables.

The document, which was initially due to be published on Tuesday evening, does not confirm how long the measures will remain in place.

Outdoor dining is set to return on 7 June with the Government set to meet on Friday to discuss the reopening of indoor dining and other sectors across the summer.

Under the guidelines, outdoor service will be allowed for a "maximum of six persons aged 13 or over per table" however, this will not apply to children under 13 as up to nine children aged 12 or below will also be allowed at a table.

The guidelines also say that physical distancing of two metres should be maintained between tables inside restaurants and pubs.

The document adds that this distance may be reduced to one metre if plexiglass barriers and limits on crowds can be maintained - however, in these instances, a time limit of 105 minutes and pre-booking will need to be in place.

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The €9 substantial meal rule will also be scrapped under the new measures.

Irish publicans have already expressed concerns over the time limit rule on indoor dining.

President of the Vinters Federation Ireland (VFI) Paul Moynihan, said on Ireland AM on Wednesday that it would be difficult to enforce the suggested time limits.

"The time limit, the practicality of it, that you're going to have some people sitting outside with no time limit - it's very, very complicated. To our customers it's going to be very complicated, so how do we enforce that, how do we police it?

"They're expecting an awful lot of staff to keep an eye on this stuff, we just need clarity. When coming towards the end of June, a lot of people will have had their first vaccination and their second vaccination. I think that is the time to open indoors with guidelines."

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The publican added that the time limit would make reopening "very, very hard", but he does understand the need for caution.

"We're just looking to open. We will do everything we can to keep people safe and to keep ourselves safe."