New midnight closing time rule now applies to hotel bars 2 months ago

New midnight closing time rule now applies to hotel bars

The Government has made a u-turn regarding hotel bars.

The new midnight closing time rule for on-licensed premises now applies to hotel bars and hotel residents bars.

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The change comes after the Government earlier this week announced a new range of restrictions to combat rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations.

One of these measures requires on-licensed premises to shut their doors at midnight from Thursday (18 November).

However, while the guidelines published to the Government's website on Tuesday had stated guests staying in hotels were exempt from the curfew, this is no longer the case.

The guidelines, updated on Thursday, now read:

"Closing times for all on-licensed premises, including hotel bars and hotel residents’ bars, will move to midnight with all customers vacated from the premises by that time, regardless of the event taking place."

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In a statement to JOE, the Irish Hotels Federation said that the closing time restrictions apply to all events being hosted in hotel bars, including weddings.

"Public health remains our number one priority, safeguarding our teams, our guests and our wider community," it added.

"Hotels and guesthouses are working with event organisers and all guests to host them in line with the updated guidelines."

Speaking to Virgin Media News, General Manager at the Strand Hotel in Limerick Stephen O'Connor described the late notice of the change as "very disappointing".

"What's disappointing about it is a lot of weddings would have planned months in advance and a lot of weddings have postponed weddings from last year, from earlier this year to the next few months," he said.

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"So, to get this late notice again is very disappointing.

"It's disappointing... because we've proven that we are safe environments for people to socialise in."