outdoor dining

  • Details have been announced of a new €17 million scheme for hospitality businesses to develop outdoor dining capacity.

    Hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés can apply to Mayo County Council for grants of up to €4,000 towards outdoor tables and chairs, umbrellas and heaters.

    The scheme will open for applications on 12th April, and can cover expenses incurred since 1st April last year.

    In a second part of the scheme, local authorities such as Mayo County Council can apply for funding to develop permanent public dining spaces in specially-zoned streets in towns and cities, in preparation for welcoming back visitors when it's safe to do so.

    Each local authority can apply for up to €200,000, and again applications open on 12th April.

  • Ministers meet this evening to discuss how quickly the hospitality sector can open.

    There is speculation in political circles that outdoor pubs could open as early as the last week in May.

    Among the proposals to be considered by senior Ministers tonight is a move to allow pubs and restaurants to serve outdoor from the 24th of May.

    It would allow the likes of beer gardens and terraces to return in less than a month.

    But the proposal is far from certain, with some sources in government saying they expect it to be June before there's a return for the hospitality sector.

    It's already been signaled hotels and B&B's will be looked at for June.

    The inter-county travel ban should also be lifted that month.

    All this will be considered at the cabinet sub-committee tonight alongside the easing of restrictions for May - which will include the return of retail, barbers, hairdressers, beauticians, museums, libraries, commercial construction and outdoor sports training for adults.

  • The Tánaiste has said there won't be time limits on tables for outdoor dining and drinking once it returns in June.

    The 9 euro substantial meal has also been scrapped, as has the limit on the number of people on a premises.

    Restaurants and pubs are still waiting on the formal advice from Fáilte Ireland.

    But Tánaiste Leo Varadkar explains how it will work.....


    Meanwhile, the Tanaiste says the prospect of a return to indoor dining and drinking will be evaluated in late June, with a view to returning in July.

    The factors which need to be favourable if indoor hospitality is to return include case numbers and the R number, hospitalisations, the rollout of the vaccine programme, and variants of the virus.