Leo Varadkar confirms exception will apply to unvaccinated hospitality staff as Cabinet sign off on indoor dining legislation 2 months ago

Leo Varadkar confirms exception will apply to unvaccinated hospitality staff as Cabinet sign off on indoor dining legislation

“They will of course be able to get a drink or have a meal after or before work in the place in which they work."

Leo Varadkar has confirmed that an exception will apply to unvaccinated hospitality staff as Cabinet signed off on indoor dining legislation on Monday.

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The government is now aiming to have the legislation, which will allow vaccinated people and under 18s accompanied by vaccinated people to eat and drink indoors at restaurants and pubs, passed by the Dáil and Seanad this week.

Speaking on Monday, Varadkar described the legislation as "our best opportunity to get indoor hospitality reopened.”

He also confirmed that younger people working in hospitality who have yet to receive a Covid-19 vaccine will also be allowed to "get a drink or have a meal". However, this may only apply to the "place in which they work".

“They will of course be able to get a drink or have a meal after or before work in the place in which they work," he said.

He added that pubs and restaurants could open as early as "some day" next week.

Under the legislation, people who have received both Covid-19 vaccines and people who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months can dine indoors.

People aged under 18 can also dine indoors with a fully vaccinated person accompanying them.

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The legislation will likely see the reopening of indoor dining in three phases, with phase one allowing fully vaccinated people or a person who has recovered from Covid-19 to dine indoors and phase two allowing people indoors with a negative PCR test.

Meanwhile, phase three will see those with a negative antigen test also be permitted to eat indoors. However, it is still unknown when these subsequent phases may take place as the government has said that there is not enough data to support the use of antigen testing for reopening as of yet.

On Monday, Stephen Donnelly said that the indoor dining limitation for unvaccinated people will have an "initial duration" of three months.

The Minister for Health told the Dáil's health committee that emergency legislation on reopening of indoor hospitality will "operate for no longer than necessary".