Food, glorious food

I have not been inside a restaurant for a million years. Well, not exactly true, but it feels like that. The risk of contagion in confined spaces is too great to allow people to dine indoors so, where feasible, businesses have been providing outdoor services. That’s OK when the sun is shining (and unusually for Ireland it has been sunny recently) but outdoor dining is not strong in the culture of a people whose primary topic of conversation is the imminent rain.

However, the problems with indoor dining when it comes to Covid are not due to the rain-resistant roof, but more to do with the proximity of other diners and the reduced flow of air to take contaminants out of harm’s way.

Nevertheless, it looks like the government’s strategy with regards to the reopening of indoor dining is to base it on the vaccination (immunity) status of the diners. I don’t hear any talk about restaurant capacity, airflow, etc. The medical status of the diners is a factor, of course, and limiting your clientele to those who are at less risk makes sense. But there should also be guidance regarding the environment into which these lucky people will be placed.

Something simple would work, like the maximum number of people per square meter (I’d guess 0.25), no table to have more than 8 people, and no table to be more than N* meters from an open window/door with noticeable airflow. These would be based on sound medical/scientific principles, and yet simple enough for the average person to comprehend. More importantly, simple enough to be calculated and applied by the typical restaurateur.

We shall see how things pan out over the coming days.

* I have no idea what N should be.

Categorised as: LUE

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