For the first time since March of last year you can go in for a pint today [in Ireland].
Before you go into paroxysms of delight there are however one or two minor hurdles.
First of all, you have to find a pub that’s open. About a quarter have said they are remaining closed as they haven’t got the staff any more. The staff they used to have have all gotten other jobs, emigrated or died. Or maybe they just don’t feel like going back to work. This of course doesn’t include all the pubs that have just gone bust and will never open again.
So, supposing you do find a pub then the rules are sheer simplicity.
Firstly you have to produce one of those crazy chessboard QR thingies. This should be on your smart phone. If you don’t have a smart phone then one on a scrap of paper will do, provided the paper isn’t folded, creased, stained or crumpled in any way. If you don’t have either then you have to prove that you had the Virus but don’t have it now. Quite how you do this is a mystery but I assume a Death Certificate will suffice?
Then you have to provide photographic proof that you are who you say you are. If you don’t have any identity cards with photographs on [and that’s a fair chunk of the population] then tough shit – you don’t get in.
Having crossed those hurdles you have to tell ’em your name, address and phone number. Don’t lie about your name [because that’s on your identity card, stupid] but any old address or phone number will do.
So now you have crossed the threshold and for the first time in sixteen months you are actually inside the pub.
At this point you have to be wearing a mask. In fact any time you are on your feet you have to have that mask on, or you’re out the door. If you have a weak bladder you might be better off just not removing the mask at all.
Are you on your own? If so then you’re fine but are probably going to be blacklisted because you are hogging a table that could be used by a lot more customers. You can’t sit at the bar as you would then be cast back outside again.
So you are going with company? That’s fine provided everyone can satisfy all the above. However if you want to bring your older kids then you can’t as they haven’t been vaccinated yet, unless of course they have had the Virus and can somehow prove the fact. Just be aware that there can be no more than six of you at a table.
If you want to bring more of your kids then provided they are aged between 13 and 18 then that’s fine. They are welcome even if they are in the throes of the virus but the limit of six stays the same.
And what about your younger kids? They’re entitled to enjoy a pint [or a short] like anyone else and you’ll be delighted to know they’re welcome too. Even better you can now pack 15 of your family [including yourself, of course] into a table with seating for six. Obviously they’ll have to sit on each other’s shoulders or under the table but that’s a minor point. And before I forget, your family of fifteen can’t be seated nearer than two meters to any other table. And you can’t have more than one table either.
So there you go. Simplicity itself. Enjoy your pint.
However, I think I’ll stick with a glass of whiskey at home if you don’t mind.