Tables will have to be at least one metre apart both outdoors and indoors under the refreshed rules (File pic: RollingNews.ie)
Food and beverage facilities indoors will initially only be available for residents of hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, which can reopen from 2 June.
It will not be possible for multiple tables to be booked indoors and no parties or social gatherings will be allowed inside.
Tables will have to be at least one metre apart both outdoors and indoors under the refreshed rules.
Inside, one-metre distancing will only be allowed if the table is pre-booked and all public health measures are adhered to, including contact tracing, ventilation and enhanced hygiene protocols.
There will be no limit on how long customers can remain eating and drinking outdoors, nor will there be a limit on duration indoors where tables are at least two metres apart.
However, if tables are only one metre away from each other visits will be limited to one hour and 45 minutes. There will no longer be a requirement for customers to purchase a meal worth a minimum of €9.
However, only table service will be allowed both inside and outside. Premises, including outdoor areas, will have to be cleared of all customers by 11.30pm.
Contact tracing and enhanced hygiene measures, similar to those in place last year, will have to be followed.
There are also measures to control noise levels, with no live or loud music permitted.
Customers will have to wear face coverings when moving around and employees will have to wear them at all times.
There is also a strong emphasis on the importance of ventilation of indoor spaces in the guidelines, as it is seen as a important means of preventing the spread of the virus.
The guidelines define an outdoor place or premises as one that is covered by a roof, so long as not more than 50% of the perimeter outside is covered by a wall, windows, gate or similar.
The rules published today relate to hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, which can reopen to customers from 2 June, as well as restaurants, pubs and cafés able to resume outdoor service from 7 June.
Fáilte Ireland said the guidelines were based on the current public health advice, which will be reviewed by Government in due course.
If it is changed, then the guidelines will be updated, the agency stated.
It is not yet clear when customers will be allowed to return indoors to pubs and restaurants, but the Taoiseach has said it is likely to be around the start of July.
Meanwhile Micheál Martin has told his party that the Government wants to ensure hospitality sectors that reopen can stay open.
Amid some criticism from his TDs of the Fáilte Ireland guidelines, he said they would be kept under “constant review” and when public health advice changes, the sector will be consulted.
The numbers are steady and suppressed with the reopening that has happened so far, he added.
The Taoiseach also said that by next week up to 50% of adults should have had their their first dose of the vaccine.
He said that the Government supports antigen testing and its roll-out in areas such as the meat industry and in third level education.
“It is important students have a normal life on campus when they get back in the autumn,” he said.
However, with less than two weeks to reopening, the hospitality industry had been growing increasingly frustrated at the delays in issuing the guidelines as businesses need to prepare.
Reacting to today’s announcement, the Chief Executive of Vintners Federation Ireland (VFI) reiterated its call that the Government works to ensure indoor drinking and dining happens no later than 1 July.
He said that time limits on such dining will be significantly changed before then.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Pádraig Cribben said that the situation needs to change as it is not manageable in the context of all the variations that are present.
“It’s probably not practical in the context of having outdoor there, having indoor at two metres, having indoor at one metre and it will lead to very difficult management and complicated situations,” Mr Cribben said.
“So we’re hopeful that will be addressed in the interim.”
Mr Cribben said about half of VFI members will be able to operate outdoors, but it is not viable for many, as there will be a limit on the number of people they can accommodate.
He said their business has been closed for 15 months and “every day counts”.
Meanwhile, the Irish Hotels’ Federation welcomed the guidelines.
President of the organisation, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, said they should provide reassurance for guests that they can look forward to an enjoyable, relaxing and safe stay in an Irish hotel or guesthouse from next week.
She added that excluding children under 12 from the capacity limits for tables dining outdoors was particularly welcome and will be good news for families.
Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, also welcomed the guidelines.
But he said they prove there is no big difference between a hotel restaurant and standalone restaurant, and called for the latter to be allowed open on 2 June, the same day hotel restaurants can.