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Remaining pubs that haven't been allowed to operate since the Covid-19 pandemic started will be permitted to open from 23 September. Strict requirements will include the venue identifying the number of people who can be safely accommodated and they will also be required to collect contact details from customers.

Originally the Stormont Executive had indicated 21 September for the reopening of so-called 'wet pubs' but this has been extended by two days to enable new regulations for the hospitality sector to be put in place to support their safe operation.

Mandatory requirements

  • The venue will be required as part of its risk assessment process to identify the number of people who can safely be accommodated in line with social distancing requirements, and must clearly display this figure in the premises;
  • Hand sanitisation stations must be in place;
  • The venue will be required to collect customer details to assist with the Test, Trace, Protect contact tracing programme;
  • All service will be seated at tables. There will be no standing and no service at the bar;
  • Customers must remain seated once in the premises, apart from using the facilities;
  • Dancing will be prohibited in hospitality venues;
  • A maximum of six people from any number of households can be seated at a table in a hospitality venue. Children aged 12 and under will be discounted from the total. More than six will be permitted if they all belong to a single household.
  • Face coverings should be worn to enter and leave the venue and for movement inside. They are not required once seated.

The regulations will apply to any venue serving alcohol or where alcohol can be brought in and consumed by customers.

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