Politics

Talks to finalise guidelines for reopening of nightclubs and music venues delayed

Harry McGee

The meeting between Government officials and the hospitality sector to finalise guidelines for the reopening of nightclubs and music venues has been delayed by an hour because of problems with the draft text.

The meeting began but was quickly postponed when an issue arose around the wording and definition of ‘nightime economy’.

It is understood the meeting will be delayed for an hour and is expected to resume around 6pm.

Representatives from the Restaurants Association, Hotel Federation and the two publicans associations, as well as representatives of live music venues, have been meeting with officials from the Department of Tourism, and the Department of Enterprise.

The State tourism agency, Fáilte Ireland, is expected to issue guidelines to allow the reopening of nightclubs and live music venues later on Thursday evening. The sector has been shut for 585 days and is due to reopen on Friday.

Among the issues to be resolved are the level of bar service that will be allowed in venues; uniformity of rules between pubs, restaurants and other venues; capacity issues; and the anomaly where those attending live music events will not be allowed leave their seats while those who attend nightclubs will be allowed to dance to music arranged by DJs.

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