Varadkar advises city and town councils to prepare for an "outdoor summer"

By James Fenton

March 4, 2021 at 9:50am

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Leo Varadkar has advised city and town councils around Ireland to support restaurants and cafés and to prepare for an "outdoor summer."

Under current Level 5 restrictions, hospitality businesses are only permitted to offer takeaway and delivery services and it is thought that outdoor dining will be allowed before indoor service when restrictions ease.

Last year, Dublin City Council permitted outdoor dining in the areas around Grafton Street and An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has now called on councils to allow for similar set-ups this year. Speaking to The Journal, he said: "We know outdoor retail and outdoor seating is safer to indoor, however I understand too that councils need to take into account the need for space for pedestrians, wheelchair users and buggies when making these decisions. So I would hope that a balance can be struck on what works best for each local area.”

Yesterday, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) confirmed that they have written to the Government to ask them to reconsider a 15-person outdoor dining limit that was in place last year.

The current set of Level 5 restrictions are scheduled to remain in place until April 5. Streets in Dublin that allowed for outdoor dining in 2020 include South Anne Street, Duke Street, South William Street, Drury Street and Dame Court.

(header pic: Karl Purdy)

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