With the arrival of summer and the gradual reopening of tourism in Europe, many Irish people are already planning their holidays, although the pandemic is far from over.
As of June 29, there will be no more restrictions on movement within the country – which today is 20 kilometers – and hotels and restaurants will be able to reopen.
But don’t get carried away! Despite the resumption of tourism, this year’s vacation will be very different from what we are used to, and it is necessary to obey a strict hygiene and social distance protocol.
Guests must enter the property through automatic doors, without having contact with knobs or handles. Only one representative from each group of guests should go to the reception to check in. In restaurants, buffet services should be avoided as much as possible. The rooms will undergo a rigorous cleaning process after being vacated, and will not have minibars. In the pools, there will be no chairs or loungers, and there will be a maximum number of people allowed on site at the same time.
In buffet services, each item must be packed or served individually, without the use of tongs or spoons. The request is for the restaurants to encourage reservations, but if there is a queue for a table, a minimum distance must be maintained. Another request is for establishments to seek alternatives to traditional menus, such as disposable menus or materials that can be cleaned. It is also possible to ask the waiter to recommend dishes or drinks. If customers want to share a plate, the portions must be served individually in the kitchen. Commonly used items like salt and pepper will not be available at the tables, and must be requested.
The rules, however, were criticized by the food and hospitality sector. Adrian Cummings, of the Irish Restaurant Association, said that about 90% of restaurants in the country will not be able to reopen if the minimum distance of 2 meters between people is maintained. The request is for the distance to be reduced to 1 meter.
For those thinking about traveling outside Ireland, the good news is that several European countries are already opening their doors to tourists, such as Portugal, Spain, Malta and Greece.
About 40% of Ryanair flights will return to normal operation as of July 1. According to the Sunday Times, most seats for popular destinations are already booked for the first week: 74% on flights from Dublin to Alicante, 50% on flights from Dublin to Lanzarote, and 42% on flights from Dublin to Barcelona.
The only rule that is still unclear is whether the 14-day quarantine for all persons arriving or returning to Ireland will be mandatory or not. We will be attentive!