Laws Expanded to Allow Serving Alcohol in Outdoor Rest Areas |

The government is extending emergency Covid-19 legislation which allows pubs and restaurants to serve alcohol in outdoor seating areas.

The Cabinet approved the six-month extension of the legislation until November 30.

The legislation applies to areas where outdoor rest areas have been approved by the relevant local authority on public land, such as a path or an area adjoining authorized premises.

Alcohol can be sold in these areas until 11 p.m. under the law.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee told a post-Cabinet briefing that the emergency legislation was being extended ahead of the “busy” summer period.

“What I have proposed today is an extension of what is an emergency measure.

“So in order to put this on a more permanent basis, this is something that we should introduce as legislation.

“I think licensing reform is the right place and would be the right bill to make those changes,” Ms. McEntee said.

“I hope to have a draft of the bill before the summer and my intention is for it to be signed into law later this year.”

The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 was first introduced in July 2021 and permits the sale and consumption of alcohol in relevant outdoor areas.

Ms McEntee said the measure was being used to support the hospitality sector, which has been hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

“So while most Covid-related emergency measures have ended or not been extended, I think it’s working well.”

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