Indoor dining has to be reopened on a step-by-step basis in order to avoid restrictions being eased too quickly, the Finance Minister has said.
As part of the Government's reopening plan, indoor dining in pubs and restaurants will be considered at the end of June.
However, indoor dining will be allowed to resume in hotels and B&Bs from June 2nd - albeit only for overnight guests and residents.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland has expressed 'disbelief, confusion and frustration' that restaurants will be restricted to outdoor dining throughout June while hotel restaurants and bars can reopen.
Minister Paschal Donohoe said he understands how difficult the last year has been for the hospitality sector.
However, he said the Government has to avoid going too far, too quickly with easing restrictions.
He said: “I believe with the plan that we have we will get to a point where we can open up indoor dining again, but we need to do it step-by-step.”
Minister Donohoe was speaking after announcing that the VAT relief in place for the domestic supply of PPE has been extended until the end of the year.
The 0% rate also applies to other items including hand sanitiser, thermometers, oxygen, medical ventilators.
The Finance Minister said the zero VAT rate should help the likes of employers who want to ensure they can provide hand sanitisers and other supplies to staff as the year goes on.