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Updates to hospitality guidelines on outdoor events being discussed

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will meet today when it is expected to discuss updates to hospitality industry guidelines on outdoor events.

It follows questions raised over an event hosted by former minister Katherine Zappone in a Dublin hotel last month and subsequent advice from the Attorney General.

Fáilte Ireland is the State agency charged with drawing up guidelines for the hospitality industry on how to operate under Covid regulations.

This week, following news that Ms Zappone hosted the outdoor event in a Dublin hotel with 50 guests, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, the Government published advice from the Attorney General which said it is now permissible to organise outdoor events for up to 200 people.

Fáilte Ireland is now updating its guidelines to reflect this advice.

The details are expected to be discussed at today’s committee.

Meanwhile, the Government is to review how it appoints UN special envoys in the wake of the controversy over the appointment, to such a role, of Ms Zappone.

She later turned down the appointment

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the appointments process will be reviewed after August, without setting a date.

Last week’s planned appointment of Ms Zappone as Ireland’s UN Special Envoy on Freedom of Opinion and Expression has led to widespread controversy.

The appointment resulted in claims of cronyism from opposition parties as Ms Zappone was the only candidate considered for the new role.

The Government has rejected those claims.

In a statement to RTÉ, a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said officials will now examine how the Government appoints UN special envoys.

The spokesperson said the appointments process will be “reviewed” after August, saying any delay is because officials will now be focused on preparations for Ireland’s upcoming presidency of the UN Security Council.

While saying special envoy roles are needed, the spokesperson said officials will “discuss internally and decide in due course” how future appointments will be made.

Additional reporting Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

Article Source – Updates to hospitality guidelines on outdoor events being discussed – RTE – Robert Shortt

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