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Dublin: 23°C Sunday 14 August 2022

Dublin city 'easing open' on Monday, but shoppers can expect queues

Shoppers can expect queues to enter stores, changing rooms to be closed and in some cases, staff wearing PPE.

Inside the Great Outdoors store where social distancing measures have been installed.
Inside the Great Outdoors store where social distancing measures have been installed.
Image: Christina Finn

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has put a number of health and safety measures in place to ensure shops can safely open in the capital on Monday.

Visitors to the city next week can expect to see stickers on the ground on Grafton Street and Henry Street to mark out where people should queue so they can abide by social distancing rules.

Shoppers can expect queues to enter stores, changing rooms to be closed and in some cases, staff wearing personal protective equipment.

The public will also notice new vibrant blue signage with information on queuing etiquette and spacing guidelines, which is all part of the campaign to help the public adjust.

At the launch of an information campaign about the reopening of the city dubbed ‘Easing Like Sunday Mornings’ – the council’s message is that retailers are back open for business, but things will be a lot slower as the lockdown eases.

Shoppers are warned it will be a very different experience to the pre-pandemic shopping experience, with the public being advised to be conscious of social distancing measures.

The public is also asked to note key travel times in order to facilitate essential workers and their commute. Visitors, where possible, are encouraged to walk or cycle into the city centre and to shop after 10.30am.

Longer opening hours are being encouraged across many businesses so visitors can spread out their travel time.

Tom Brabazon, Lord Mayor of Dublin, urged people to plan their journey if they are making their way into the city next week. 

He pleaded for people not to “all rush in together”. 

“We’re finally beginning the journey to get back to some level of normality. My message to all Dubliners is that we are looking forward to welcoming you back into the heart of the city from Monday but please remember that we are easing open. For the next while the city will feel like it used to do on a Sunday morning. Today we take the first steps to re-opening Dublin, today is a good day,” he said.

Shoppers are advised that public transport is restricted and only operating at 20% of pre-Covid levels.

A traffic management plan will be in place, including parking restrictions, so visitors to the city are being asked to act responsibly and take direction as appropriate, according to the gardaí.

Richard Guiney, CEO of DublinTown said shops and businesses have been hit hard throughout this crisis.

“There will be give and take but we are all in this together and we know that Dubliners will apply their usual common sense and good nature to the changing conditions. We look forward to renewing old acquaintances in a safe and welcoming environment.’’

4 NO FEE Dublin Partially Reopens The Great Outdoors Owner Ken Costigan opens his doors on South Great George’s Street Dublin to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Tom Brabazon, Richard Guiney CEO – Dublin Town and Superintendent Thomas Murphy.

Speaking to reporters today, Director of the Great Outdoors shop on South Great Georges Street, Ken Costigan said he is expecting a good footfall from shoppers once the doors open. 

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Shoppers will queue outside the store, and as they enter there is a hand sanitser station for them, he said.

“We have had to remove a lot of stock, we have relayed it out, and there are arrows on the floor to try and direct people all in the same direction. Human nature is people see what they want and they rush over to it, so we are going to try and steer them in the direction we would like them to go.

“It is going to be a challenge for everyone, we have less stock, less racks and less staff, of course,” he added.

Costigan said with less people in the store, less stock to sell and the same overheads, cost is a concern.

“We are going to start with ten or 12 customers in the shop at one time. Under the guidelines, we should be able to have 15 or 16, but we don’t want to frighten the customers, or the staff. We want people to feel very, very comfortable,” he said.

When asked if he thinks changing rooms remaining closed will be an issue for retailers, he said:

“I think it is going to be an issue, there is no doubt about it, but I can’t see any way around it, maybe when we know more about the virus and how it is transmitted then someone can make a medical call on it.

“In a few weeks time I think people will be a lot less fearful of going shopping.”

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