Government to extend law on consumption of alcohol in outdoor areas

The Government is to increase a brief legislation to verify the sale and consumption of alcohol in out of doors seating areas of pubs and eating places can proceed throughout the summer time months.

The legislation was launched final yr when the Garda Síochána mentioned non permanent out of doors areas for consuming and ingesting, launched throughout Covid-19 restrictions, weren’t lined by the licensing legal guidelines.

The new legislation is because of lapse on May thirty first. However, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee will carry a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday in search of a six-month extension till the tip of November this yr.

The laws was first launched to help the hospitality sector throughout Covid however the extension is geared in the direction of supporting the trade because it continues to get better from the pandemic.

The laws applies the place out of doors seating areas have been permitted by the related native authority on public land, reminiscent of a path, or the place they’re on non-public land abutting the licensed premises, reminiscent of an abutting yard.

During 2020 and 2021 when indoor eating and hospitality weren’t allowed, native authorities by way of the State gave permission to pubs and eating places to put in out of doors tables.

However, in June final yr, the Garda raised doubts about these preparations being in compliance with licensing legal guidelines, and mentioned licensed premises might promote alcohol solely as takeaway drinks or to be consumed inside the boundaries lined by the licence. In most instances, this lined solely the inside of the premises.

Ms McEntee then launched the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021 to permit designated out of doors areas of such premises to be thought-about as inside the boundary. Those provisions are on account of lapse on May thirty first however the Minister will search a six-month extension, which is permitted below the laws, till the tip of November.

The Irish Times understands it’s the Minister’s intention to carry ahead a long run answer as a part of a wider reform of licensing legal guidelines.

It comes lower than per week after Minister for Housing and Local Government Darragh O’Brien introduced that he would instruct native authorities to waive charges charged by native authorities throughout 2022 for using out of doors furnishings reminiscent of tables and chairs.

Mr O’Brien advised the Oireachtas Housing Committee final week that companies would nonetheless want to use for licences for road furnishings – to make sure they weren’t blocking any emergency companies, or obstructing the passage of individuals, together with these with disabilities.

However, the charges (which might run into hundreds of euro in some instances) is not going to be utilized this yr. The regulation giving impact to this determination will come earlier than the Dáil this week.

Separately the Cabinet can also be set to approve a €400 month-to-month cost to folks internet hosting Ukrainian refugees. It is known that laws will probably be required to supply the cost and it could take a couple of months to have this drafted and handed by way of the Oireachtas.

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