Retailers and hotels welcome plans to speed up reopening sectors

The retail and hospitality sectors have welcomed the news that the government is accelerating Ireland's progress through the roadmap to reopen the country and the economy.
Retailers and hotels welcome plans to speed up reopening sectors
Picture: Denis Minihane

The retail and hospitality sectors have welcomed the news that the government is accelerating Ireland's progress through the roadmap to reopen the country and the economy.

The new plan allows for all shops to be able to open from Monday, the Taoiseach said, provided they stagger opening hours to reduce the burden on public transport; maintain distancing; and dedicate opening hours to older and medically vulnerable people. Shopping centres, meanwhile, can open from June 15.

Mr Varadkar said this is to ensure that high street shops do not have an unfair advantage over shopping centres.

The tourism industry can reopen from June 29, including bars that serve food with table service only.

Full guidance on how this can be done will be released, but Mr Varadkar confirmed that these pubs will not need restaurant licences.

Essential retailers have let the way in transforming stores, according to Retail Ireland.

The group says the Government's plans to speed up the lifting of lockdown restrictions is positive for the sector.

Arnold Dillon from the group says new stores re-opening can learn a lot.

"I think the acceleration of the reopening retail is a testament to the enormous efforts that essential retailers have made during the lockdown and the way that they have transformed their stores," said Mr Dillon.

"I think an awful lot of the lessons that have been learned throughout the lockdown in grocery and pharmacy and other retailers that stayed open are going to be applied now into the non-essential retailer settings."

Meanwhile, the Irish Hotels' Federation is reassuring customers it is safe for the sector to open from the end of the month.

Its President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane wants people to feel safe.

"Many hotels and guest houses have already begun to adapt their services and we are seeing great examples of creativity whereby properties are rethinking their spaces and rethinking their services," said Ms Fitzgerald Kane.

"The big, big thing here is that we want our teams and our guests to know that they are in a safe environment."

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