Minister McEntee set to extend Outdoor Drinking Laws

Minister McEntee set to extend Outdoor Drinking Laws

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said that the law had given “much needed certainty to licenced premises during the pandemic”, and that it had allowed “publicans and restaurant owners across the country serving alcohol in relevant outdoor seating areas to operate lawfully”.

The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021, introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland permitting licenced business to serve alcohol in outdoor settings, has been extended for six months until November 2022.

The legislation was first introduced in July 2021 after An Garda Síochána stated that bars and restaurants were not permitted to serve alcohol in outdoor settings that had been temporarily established to mitigate the disturbance to business caused by the pandemic and the accompanying restrictions.

“Much needed certainty”

The laws applies to outdoor seating areas that have been authorised by relevant local authorities on public land, or where they are on private land abutting the licensed premises as provided for in the 2021 Act.

Although COVID restrictions have now been lifted in Ireland, Minister McEntee noted that many businesses across the country, such as pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs, were still struggling, and that is was important to give them the necessary assistance that they required under the Act.

“The extension of this legislation is a key support in that regard”, she said.

Modernised Licensing System

Minister McEntee further added that she was “committed to enacting alcohol licensing laws that reflect the changing expectations and lifestyles of 21st century Ireland. A modernised licensing system will play an important role in revitalising existing night-time economy businesses.

“To this end, my Department is currently working on the drafting of the general scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill. This is advancing well, and it is my intention to progress this legislation in the months ahead with a view to enacting it this year.”

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