'We Will Prevail' - Retail body issues letter for essential workers

'We Will Prevail' - Retail body issues letter for essential workers

The full list of essential workers will be published today.

Yesterday, Seven key groups of people were identified as essential to run the State and are exempt from the lockdown ordered by government.

They are those involved in:

  • Healthcare and social care
  • Public and civil service
  • Utilities
  • Necessary goods, ie food and medicines
  • Financial services
  • Transport
  • Communications including journalists

Health Minister Simon Harris said it will not include construction workers.

Minister Harris explained some of those that are covered.

He said: "Those of us that have to go to work to ensure the health and wellbeing of others, so our nurses, doctors, people working in the healthcare profession, people caring for people.

"It is also people working in the public and civil service, again keeping the country functioning, it would be people providing food and medicinal supplies, people keeping our utilities going, such as our water and our electricity, and also people in the transport sector."

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets will close to members of the public and all other retail outlets are to implement physical distancing.

    The essential retail outlets are as follows

  • 1. Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores
  • 2. Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses
  • 3. Pharmacies/Chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services
  • 4. Retail sale of selling medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores
  • 5. Fuel stations and heating fuel providers
  • 6. Retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding
  • 7. Laundries and Drycleaners
  • 8. Banks, Post Offices and Credit Unions
  • 9. Retail sale of safety supply stores (work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment, for example)

Retail body, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), has issued a letter for company bosses to give to their employees for when they travel as essential workers to work.

REI said they issued the letter as staff are "likely to feel vulnerable and in the coming days they might be asked by An Gardai why they are out and about".

The REI said: "Those colleagues no longer serve you, they serve our Nation."

The letter, dated for today says:

Dear Colleague,

As you are aware, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued new COVID-19 measures on Friday evening 27th March 2020.

Our business is deemed an essential business and thus you are deemed an essential worker.

Please take this letter with you as you travel to and from work. It will assure the authorities that you are playing a vital role in this time of crisis.

Thank you sincerely for all that you are doing for our company but more importantly, the vital role you are playing for our great Nation.

Stay safe and please be reminded to follow all of the important health and safety protocols both we and the HSE have advised you of.


The NPHET also outlined businesses that can only offer emergency call-out or delivery services only.

  • opticians/optometrists
  • retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (tyre sales and repairs for example)
  • hardware stores, builder’s merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture
  • retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses
  • retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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