Pubs and restaurants given 11pm cut-off time for outdoor drinks

Pubs and restaurants given 11pm cut-off time for outdoor drinks

Pubs and restaurants will only be allowed to serve alcohol outdoors until 11pm under changes to the emergency laws introduced to support the hospitality sector during Covid-19 public health restrictions.

Justice minister Heather Humphreys said the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021, which introduced changes to allow for the sale and consumption of alcohol in relevant outdoor seating areas, would be extended for another six months past its original expiration date of 30 November 2021.

The emergency legislation did not regulate the trading hours for outdoor seating areas as licensed premises were already subject to Covid-restricted trading hours.

A regulation has now been put in place to prevent the sale or consumption of alcohol after 11pm in the outdoor seating areas on private land abutting a licensed premises.

Mrs Humphreys said: “I brought in emergency legislation to allow for outdoor seating areas to operate lawfully. This Act remains in place until 30 November 2021, but can be extended for up to six months at a time, with a positive resolution of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

“We want to ensure there is certainty for business and work is underway to proceed with an extension.

“As trading hours return to normal in line with the easing of certain Covid restrictions, I have introduced a pragmatic regulation for outdoor seating areas for private land abutting the licensed premises that are covered by the emergency legislation.

“This sets out that alcohol cannot be sold or consumed any day after 11pm in the private land outdoor seating areas which benefit from the emergency legislation.

“This is in line with similar trading hour restrictions on the outdoor seating areas authorised by local authorities. It does not impact the trading hours attached to outdoor areas that are within the existing licensing arrangement as part of the licensed premises.”

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