New Covid-19 outdoor guidelines allow gatherings of 200 people, live music at hotel establishments

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Live music and performances will be permitted and multiple tables can be reserved for outdoor events for up to 200 people in accordance with new guidelines published by Fáilte Ireland today.

However, there must be “robust safeguards” in place, with numbers of participants up to the limit of 200 to be determined by the area where an event takes place, according to new guidelines released Friday morning.

The guidelines also state that “mixing between tables is not allowed”.

“The overall capacity will depend on the size of the outdoor event area where patrons will be seated,” the guidelines say. The updated guidelines also allow live music and other outdoor performances at host facilities, subject to relevant public health guidelines.

As with indoor environments, seating arrangements and table plans should be reviewed to ensure that the recommended physical distance and other protective measures can be strictly observed. A physical distance of one meter is required between people seated at tables, while table size limits are the same as for indoor dining.

The new guidelines have been published by Fáilte Ireland, including new sections on outdoor events. It follows advice from the Attorney General to the government that up to 200 people can gather for certain outdoor events, issued following a controversy over an event hosted by former minister Katherine Zappone and in which several political figures participated, including the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Under the guidelines, guests will be asked to wear face coverings and masks when walking through outdoor dining areas, service areas, and using indoor facilities. There should be segmented areas for smokers and non-smokers.

Outdoor space can be covered by a roof as long as no more than 50 percent of the perimeter is covered by a wall, windows, door, or similar type of construction. Exterior areas do not have to be fully or substantially closed, the guidelines say, which means in practice that they cannot have sides that can be opened or closed or cover more than half of the perimeter.

A marquee or gazebo with a roof and four sides, for example, would not be outdoor space and instead would need 50% of its wall area open to outside air. Much of the outdoor area should be cleaned twice a day, including entrances and exits, smoking areas, seats, benches and toilets, while tables, seats, trays and reusable items should be cleaned more frequently.


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