While there has been a broad welcome from the bodies representing pubs to the 5 July reopening of indoor service, the Restaurants Association of Ireland said it is “baffled” by the decision not to allow restaurants open for indoor dining on 2 June, along with hotels.

Under the Government plan, restaurants can provide outdoor service from 7 June and indoor service from 5 July.

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said the association will legally challenge the Government’s decision.

“Without proper reasoning on medical or scientific grounds from Government, we have no choice but to take this as discrimination of standalone restaurants, cafes and gastropubs,” he said.

Mr Cummins said the decision restricts a section of the hospitality industry’s ability to trade viably over the Summer.

“Only 20% of the sector can engage in outdoor dining,” he said.

“It also prevents employees from returning to work and jeopardises the re-employment of 110,00 worker,” he added.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he and the Taoiseach would meet the RAI on Wednesday.

“We understand where they’re coming from but the rational of all of this is a phased reopening,” he said.

“The whole point is we can’t reopen everything at the same time so we’re going with outdoor before indoor.”

He said they will point out that hotels are allowed serve in dining rooms, but that has always been the case.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has welcomed the news that pubs can resume indoor service from 5 July.

However, it is calling on the Government to bring forward the opening date by four days to allow their members trade for an extra weekend.

The VFI is also calling for the removal of the 105-minute time limit from the guidelines.

“This announcement is hugely significant as it provides certainty to our members and the 50,000 staff employed in the trade about when they can reopen indoors,” said Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive.

“The end of our trade’s 15-month nightmare is now in sight,” he said.

He said that reopening in time for the traditional summer season is a “big boost” for businesses, who can now plan for a July and August.

“However, there are only nine weekends in that short season, so to remove one of those crucial weekends by reopening on a Monday is a blow the Government can avoid by simply moving the date forward by four days to 1st July,” he said.

The Licensed Vintners Association also welcomed the news.

“It has been a long time coming, but this is a time for hope and optimism,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA.

Hotels can reopen 2 June, a decision that was welcomed by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).

“Today hotels and guesthouses across the country have been given much-needed clarity that will help their business planning for the peak tourism season,” said IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane.

As an island nation, Ms Fitzgerald Kane said international tourism is critically important, accounting for over 70% of tourism revenue pre-Covid.

“While hotels and guesthouses are not relying on significant overseas visitors this year, the easing of restrictions on international travel for business and leisure will be very important in extending the season for many Irish tourism businesses, while also supporting the recovery in our major cities including Dublin, where occupancy levels lag the rest of the country,” she said.

Guest numbers for weddings will increase to 100 in August, a move that is being welcomed by venues across the country.

Ms Fitzgerald Kane of the IHF said it was a boost for couples, many of whom had postponed their wedding on more than one occasion over the past year.

“Live music and the restoration of licensing hours are also important to wedding couples going forward and we would welcome clarity on these,” she said.

She called for a roadmap for the further easing of restrictions particularly in relation to smaller gatherings including family celebrations and non-essential business events.

“At present, outside of weddings, there is no provision for family events or occasions that could involve groups of more than six adults,” she said.