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Coronavirus: These are the 'essential retail outlets' that can stay open

The Department of An Taoiseach provided an indicative list this afternoon.

Fallon & Byrne store on Dublin's Exchequer Street. (File photo)
Fallon & Byrne store on Dublin's Exchequer Street. (File photo)
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR made a raft announcements today about new restrictions to Irish life as part of measures to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Among them was the instruction that all non-essential retail outlets are to close, with restaurants and cafes told to close unless they can offer a take-away option.

Supermarkets and pharmacies are to remain open.

In the past hour, the Department of An Taoiseach has released an indicative list of what are considered “essential retail outlets” that can remain open. 

The list is the following: 

1. Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores.

2. Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses.

3. Pharmacies/Chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services.

4. Opticians/Optometrists.

5. Retail sale of selling medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores.

6. Fuel stations and heating fuel providers.

7. Retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (e.g. tyre sales and repairs).

8. Retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding.

9. Laundries and Dry Cleaners.

10. Banks, Post Offices and Credit Unions.

11. Retail sale of safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment).

12. Hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture. 

13. Retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses. 

14. Retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home.

TAOISEACH 636 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at today's briefing. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Despite these stores being allowed to remain open, they are told to ensure there is “adequate distancing between customers” and to allow people into the store “only in small groups”.

Retailers are also being asked to “designate certain times of the day to facilitate vulnerable groups” and parents are also being asked:

Where practicable and in so far as is possible, parents are encouraged to limit bringing their children with them when visiting essential retail outlets.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie after today’s press conference, Business Minister Heather Humphreys said the Health and Safety Authority, as well as the National Standards Authority of Ireland are available to help provide any guidance and help to employers about how to maintain the HSE health and safety guidelines around physical distancing and other measures where workplaces cannot have employees working at home.

She said businesses should not be afraid to get in touch as this is not about inspecting and shutting down businesses, but about giving help and guidance about how to safely stay open and keep people in jobs during this time of crisis.

Announcing the new measures this afternoon, Varadkar said that people: “should only go to the shops for essential supplies, for medical and dental appointments or to care for others, or to take physical exercise.”

- With reporting by Christina Finn

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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