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Re-Opening of Wet Pubs

From today, 23 September, wet pubs are permitted to re-open to the public provided they follow new regulations put in place to support their safe operation.

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed that indoor pubs and bars selling only drink (wet pubs) will be permitted to open from today, Wednesday 23 September 2020.

New Regulations

Following extensive engagement with the hospitality sector, the Executive has agreed that mandatory requirements will include:

  • The venue will be required as part of its risk assessment process to identify the number of people who can safely be accommodated in line with social distancing requirements, and must clearly display this figure in the premises;
  • Hand sanitisation stations must be in place.
  • The venue will be required to collect customer details to assist with the Test, Trace, Protect contact tracing programme.
  • All service will be seated at tables. There will be no standing and no service at the bar.
  • Customers must remain seated once in the premises, apart from using the facilities.
  • Dancing will be prohibited in hospitality venues.

A maximum of six people from any number of households can be seated at a table in a hospitality venue. Children aged 12 and under will be discounted from the total. More than six will be permitted if they all belong to a single household.

Face coverings should be worn to enter and leave the venue and for movement inside. They are not required once seated. The regulations will apply to any venue serving alcohol or where alcohol can be brought in and consumed by customers.

Beer bikes will not be permitted to operate.


Tourism NI in partnership with the Department for the Economy have produced Interim Guidance for hospitality businesses. NI Direct have 'Test, Trace and Protect' posters available for hospitality settings to download and display. Further information can be found on guidance for the hospitality industry on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors