Planning laws loosened as businesses adapt to pandemic

Planning laws loosened as businesses adapt to pandemic

Restaurant owners will not need to get planning permission to turn their businesses into takeaways.

Planning rules are being loosened to speed the response to the coronavirus pandemic - and help businesses adapt.

Any new hospitals, isolation units, step-down care centres or other infrastructure needed to fight the pandemic will now bypass the planning process.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has announced the move after consulting with local government planners in recent days.

During the emergency period, restaurant owners will not need to get planning permission to switch to a takeaway.

Businesses like supermarkets that have their opening hours limited by conditions to their planning permission will be allowed open longer too.

Local councils said keeping food and other essential supplies moving has to come first - and they "don't envisage" taking enforcement action over technical breaches during the emergency.

Meanwhile, new financial supports for businesses will bring some much-needed confidence to the sector, according to the Small Firms Association.

Last night, the government upgraded payments to workers who've lost their job due to Covid-19 to €350.

It also committed to temporarily pay 70% of workers salaries up to €410 a week.

    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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