Restrictions on the hospitality sector are expected to remain in place until at least February next year – but nightclubs have been given the green light to open for the first time since March 2020.
able service will remain, the 11.30pm closing time has been scrapped and digital Covid certs will be required for entry.
But how does Ireland compare to its UK and EU counterparts when it comes to rules for pubs and nightclubs?
The nightclubbing scene resumed in Berlin in September after a discothèque successfully sued the city over its ban on indoor dancing. In other parts of Germany, nightclubs had been open since the middle of summer with certain restrictions in place.
Proof of vaccination or recovery from coronavirus within the last six months is required for entry.
Nightclubs were one of the last businesses to reopen to the public in Germany. Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture launched a trial in August to test whether PCR tests would suffice in keeping revellers safe.
However, a local court ruled that pandemic restrictions were unfairly impacting those who have been inoculated or recovered from Covid-19. This decision resulted in nightclubs starting to gradually reopen. Customers aren’t required to wear masks or social distance.
Nightclubs were originally meant to reopen on November 1, but this was brought forward to September 25 by the Dutch government.
Venues can open to maximum capacity and a “corona pass” system is in operation. Anyone entering a pub, restaurant or club must provide proof of vaccination or recovery.
There are strict closing times also in place, with nightclubs required to remain shut between midnight and 6am.
Clubbers are not required to social distance.
Like Ireland, hotel guests do not need to show proof of vaccination. However, guests must do so if they want to visit the hotel bar or restaurant.
Disco dancing resumed in many Spanish regions at the end of September/start of October. Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia, Asturias and the Balearic Islands all loosened restrictions. Restaurants can stay open until 2am, while nightclubs and bars can remain open until 6am.
However, masks must be worn inside – except when eating and drinking. Customers can only eat and drink while seated, and alcohol consumption is not allowed on the dance floors of nightclubs.
There are no capacity restrictions in place for any food or entertainment venue in the Madrid region, including pubs and nightclubs. Bar service is also allowed as long as patrons are seated.
Nightclubs reopened in England in the middle of July. The requirements to wear masks and social distance were also scrapped during the summer and those across the pond have been living a restriction-free life.
Proof of vaccination is not required for entry into venues. However, the number of people testing positive for Covid in the UK has been rising in recent days to more than 40,000 cases a day.
Other parts of the UK adopted a more cautious approach. In Northern Ireland, nightclubs are allowed to reopen on October 31. Social distancing in bars and restaurants will also be removed.
Venue owners are being asked to voluntarily introduce systems where customers have to prove they are fully vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative Covid test.
Italians have been allowed back on the dance floor since October 11 . However, some restrictions remain in place. Vaccine passports are required for entry and venues are asked to keep capacity to 35pc.
Nightclub employees are not included in the capacity restrictions and all closed venues must guarantee ventilation systems without air being recirculated.
Bars and restaurants are still subject to capacity restrictions.
Since October 1, restaurants no longer have a maximum limit of people per group and customers do not need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Nightclubs also reopened on this date, but clubbers are required to provide their EU digital certificate upon entry. The limitation on the sale and consumption of alcohol and time limits imposed on pubs and restaurants also ended.
Sweden lifted all Covid-19-related restrictions in the country on September 8. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are open with no restrictions in place.
Vaccine passes are not currently required for domestic activities in Sweden.
Nightclubs reopened in France in July. Capacity was capped at 75pc and proof of vaccination or a negative test was required to gain entry.
People do not have to wear face masks in venues where health passes must be shown.
What restrictions will remain in place in Ireland after October 22?
Only table service will be permitted and measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing will still be required.
A maximum of 10 people will be able to sit at a table.
The current 11.30pm curfew will no longer be in place.
Nightclubs can reopen from this Friday but social distance and mask-wearing protocols will be in place. Dancing will be allowed and vaccination certs will be required for entry into all hospitality venues.