The Government is likely to allow restaurants and gastropubs to reopen in December while also permitting household visits.The Cabinet Covid-19 sub-committee met for five hours on Thursday night and proposed that much of the hospitality sector should be allowed to reopen from December 7th onwards.
Sources said there would be tighter rules including cutting the time allowed at a table and cutting the number of people allowed to sit together in restaurants.
It is unlikely that household visits will recommence next week, though rules on this will change from December 18th while travel restrictions would also be removed allowing people to leave their county.
In a letter to Government, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had advised that the hospitality sector should be allowed to offer take-away only services throughout December.
Nphet said a choice should be made between relaxing restrictions on households visits or allowing the hospitality sector to reopen.
A senior source said the Government would seek to “re-balance” this and allow much of the hospitality sector to reopen but with the trade off of permitting smaller groups to meet in people’s homes.