Non-essential retail among main sectors impacted by new Covid-19 measures

Non-essential retail among main sectors impacted by new Covid-19 measures

All non-essential retail outlets have been closed under wide-ranging measures announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

It includes theatres, clubs, gyms, and leisure centres, hairdressers, betting shops, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries, and other similar outlets, said Mr Varadkar.

The restrictions came into effect at midnight last night.

Retail outlets remaining open are to implement social distancing, he said.

The measures have resulted in the shut down of the majority of retail outlets, with the exceptions of supermarkets and pharmacies.

The full list of essential retailers includes: Opticians/optometrists, fuel stations and heating fuel providers, tyre sales and repairs, retailers selling items for the health and welfare of animals, laundries and dry cleaners, banks, post offices, and credit unions, retailers selling work safety supplies, hardware shops, builders’ merchants, office supply retailers, and retailers that provide electrical, IT, and phone sales, repairs, and maintenance services.

These are in addition to pharmacists and retailers selling food, beverages, newspaper, and household consumer products.

Many larger retailers had already taken these steps in recent days, anticipating that such an order was on the horizon.

In addition to the above, the Taoiseach extended the following restrictions:

  • All hotels to limit occupancy to essential non-social and non-tourist reasons;
  • All cafes and restaurants are to limit supply to take-away food or delivery and implement social distancing measures in respect of queuing;
  • All playgrounds, holiday parks, and caravan parks are to close;
  • Places of worship are to restrict numbers entering at any one time to ensure social distancing;
  • All organised indoor and outdoor social events of any kind are not to take place, and all sporting events are cancelled.

The new guidelines for movement are in place until April 19.

They are designed to reduce activity just essential movement, such as buying groceries or medicine.

The Taoiseach did not extend the measures to construction sites or factories, but said any such facilities that remain open must implement social distancing.

Nonetheless, German electronic component manufacturer Kostal is to temporarily close its Cork and Limerick plants, which employ more than 1,000 people.

In advance of the new measures being announced, Retail Excellence Ireland had instructed its members to use “common sense”.

It advised large shops to shut all textiles, clothing, and homeware departments to prioritise food.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland, meanwhile, welcomed the order for restaurants and cafes to limit their offering to takeaway and deliveries.

More on this topic

Gary Barlow on the positives of lockdown: I’m getting so much doneGary Barlow on the positives of lockdown: I’m getting so much done

Business winners and losers: EU to pay companies to stop laying-off staff because of virus crisisBusiness winners and losers: EU to pay companies to stop laying-off staff because of virus crisis

Hiqa to launch infection advice hub for nursing homeHiqa to launch infection advice hub for nursing home

Asylum seekers find them homeless after positive Covid-19 diagnosisAsylum seekers find them homeless after positive Covid-19 diagnosis