The Government likely to scrap the €9 substantial meal rule which was in force last summer.
Speaking ahead of a Cabinet Covid sub-committee meeting, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said there won’t be a distinction between wet pubs and pubs that serve food when the hospitality industry is allowed to reopen.
Last summer some pubs serving food were allowed to reopen alongside restaurants with a rule that a customer had to have a “substantial meal” to go with their pint.
So-called ‘wet’ pubs were only able to open for a few weeks in the autumn while in Dublin pubs in this sector never reopened at all.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) maintains the €9 meal requirement is an “outmoded regulation” and have previously called for clarification that it will not be re-introduced this summer.
When asked if the €9 substantial meal rule will feature for summer 2021, Minister Ryan said:
“I think less likely, I think we’ve learned outdoors is safe, not whether you’re having chicken nuggets on top of it.
“We don’t want all those systems where people get a certain meal. It was a false kind of division. I think it will start outdoors because it’s much safer.
“I don’t think it will be whether it’s divided by food or not. Outdoors versus indoors will be the difference,” said Ryan.