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High street stores to get green light to reopen from next Monday

Shopping centres will not be permitted to reopen in Phase 2.

Image: RollingNews.ie

HIGH STREET STORES will be able to open their doors to customers on Monday, it has been confirmed.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has given the green light to government to allow major retail shops to reopen.

It is understood that shopping centres will not be permitted to reopen in this phase.

Instead, under Phase 2 which begins on Monday, small retail outlets with a small number of staff were set to be be permitted to open, as long as retailers could control the numbers of shoppers.

Under the published government roadmap, all other major retailers would have had to wait until Phase 3. 

However, it is believed that Cabinet will tomorrow approve the reopening of all major retail outlets on 8 June. 

Stores must adhere to social distancing rules and only retail outlets located on street-level will be permitted to open.

The shops cannot be enclosed in shopping centres. 

Shopping centres are still viewed as a higher risk due to fears members of the public could congregate together. 

Changing rooms in any of the shops that reopen on Monday must remain closed, it is understood. 

Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil the government had made proposals to NPHET to bring forward the easing of some restrictions. It is believed the reopening of major retail stores formed part of the proposal.

The announcement comes after concerns were raised by businesses and the opposition about some retailers being allowed to reopen while others had to stay closed. 

At the onset of Phase One, there was anger by some shop owners over the backtracking in allowing homeware stores to open while hardware stores were allowed open their doors.

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Questions were also raised about the real threat of the spread of the virus in shops after a recent report in The Sunday Times newspaper which found that supermarkets Aldi and Lidl reported that around 20 staff members between the two retailers contracted coronavirus, out of workforce of about 9,000.

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