News & Events

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister Catherine Martin welcome the publication of guidance for reopening of indoor hospitality

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD this evening welcomed the publication of updated guidance to facilitate the reopening of indoor hospitality.

Businesses which re-open will also be able to avail of the three-week double payment of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme.

The Tánaiste said:

“From Monday we are going to open indoor hospitality, get lots of businesses open and lots of people back to work. As a first step in this reopening, businesses will allow entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered from COVID in the past six months, as well as children under 18 in their care. The restrictions being applied to this re-opening are designed to be a temporary measure, and hugely important for the sector and their customers. I know that operating this new system will be inconvenient for business and could add to staff costs. It is, however, the only way we can re-open and stay open throughout this Delta wave. Hopefully, it will not be necessary in a few months’ time but it is good to have it in place in case it is. There will be teething problems and we will work with the industry to review and amend the regulations as needed and based on practical experience.”

“The Digital Covid Certificate will be the primary evidence used when going into a pub, restaurant or café to access indoor hospitality. Other forms of evidence will be set out in the regulations. People across the country are currently receiving their Digital Covid Certificate via email and by post.”

“The Irish public have shown great solidarity and dedication throughout the pandemic. As we take another step in reopening society, I encourage everyone to play their part in ensuring that the new requirements work for public health, for businesses and customers alike.”

Minister Martin said:

“I am acutely aware of the devastation the necessary public health restrictions have had on tourism and hospitality businesses since March 2020 with many unable to open at all. Throughout this period the businesses and the people working in the sectors have made huge sacrifices which have benefitted society at large.”

“The publication of updated guidance will help businesses and customers to adapt to a new and hopefully temporary regime which is aimed at protecting public health while allowing businesses to get back to what they do best. The “Céad Míle Fáilte” will be much in evidence from Monday onward and I encourage all customers to show patience and understanding as businesses and their staff get used to the new requirements. Let’s all work together to keep this vitally important sector open from now on.”

Further information

What will happen on Monday?

From Monday indoor hospitality will reopen for people who are fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid in the past six months, as well as children under 18 in their care. 

This is the first phase for the reopening of the hospitality sector.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate or HSE COVID-19 Vaccination Record (as issued at vaccination centres) will be the primary evidence used when going into a pub, restaurant, café or food court to access indoor hospitality.  People across the country are currently receiving their EU Digital Covid Certificates via email and by post. More detail on the EU Digital COVID Certificate is available at

You may also be asked for photo ID to verify the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

Customers will still be required to provide contact tracing details with the exception of those under 18. Contact name and telephone number will be securely retained for 28 days and will be compliant with GDPR.

To protect ourselves and others, we still need to adhere to all of the public health behaviours that keep us and our loved ones safe – these include hand hygiene, physical distancing, face coverings when moving through indoor spaces etc. 

People should also remember that outdoor spaces are preferable to indoor spaces

What conditions will be in place for businesses around time limits, table numbers, table service etc.?

Following public health advice, the time limit for sitting at tables has been removed.  There is now no limit to the amount of time consumers can sit at tables.  Businesses may decide to operate this approach.

There is no requirement for pre-booking, however businesses may decide to operate using this approach.

A maximum of 6 persons aged 13 or over are permitted at a table. This limit of 6 does not include accompanying children aged 12 or younger. The total combined capacity at a table cannot exceed 15 overall (max. 6 persons aged 13 and over).   Mingling between tables is not allowed. 

You should wear a face mask at all times other than when sitting at your table.  All staff will continue to wear appropriate PPE including face masks at all times.

Counter service remains prohibited.  The regulations will provide for people to be served at tables only. This is to protect unvaccinated workers.

There is no change to closing time – currently COVID regulations require all premises to close at 11.30 pm.

Indoor areas should be well-ventilated

Customers will still be required to provide contact tracing details with the exception of those under 18. Contact name and telephone number will be securely retained for 28 days and will be compliant with GDPR.

Both Ministers noted that work was ongoing on the finalisation of the necessary Regulations under the Health Act to provide the statutory basis for this reopening and that it’s expected to have the Regulations signed into law imminently. The operation of the control regime to allow safe indoor hospitality to resume will be kept under close review and, hopefully, as time progresses a relaxation of the control measures will become feasible.

Please see updated guidelines here at - Reopening hospitality ( or on Operational Guidelines | Business Supports | COVID-19 Support Hub | Fáilte Ireland (


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, or (01) 631-2200