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Level 5: These are the essential retail outlets and services allowed open under the new restrictions

New restrictions are to come into force across the country – so what does this mean for retail?

Image: Sam Boal

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced that the country is moving to Level 5 restrictions as of Wednesday night – so what retailers and services will be allowed to continue?

Retail Excellence Ireland had warned the government that “all retail should be classed as ‘essential’ to avoid a potential 60,000 job losses, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

As was the case in the last lockdown, essential retailers and services will be the only ones permitted to open under Level 5.

The list of essential retail and services is longer than at the peak of the last shutdown, with hardware shops, bicycle repair shops and opticians joining the likes of supermarkets, newsagents and pharmacies this time around.

Outlets selling essential items for the health and welfare of animals, laundries and dry-cleaners, banks, post offices and credit unions will also be allowed to remain open.

Meanwhile, services relating to farming, farm labour, crop and animal production, fishing for commercial purposes, animal welfare, forestry, veterinary are permitted.

And services for motorists such as driving tests and the NCT will continue during the six-week period.

However, hairdressers and barbers will not remain open, nor will the likes of bookshops or clothes shops.

All pubs will have to operate take-away and delivery services, while ‘wet pubs’ in Dublin will have to remain closed entirely.

Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but only to support the provision of essential services, while bars, cafes, restaurants and wet pubs may provide take-away and delivery services.

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All other retailers can open for a click-and-collect service, where this can be appropriately managed within public health guidelines.

The full list of essential retail outlets includes:

  • Retailers with mixed retail offering which have discrete spaces for essential and non-essential retail should make arrangements for the separation of relevant areas.
  • Outlets selling food or beverages on a takeaway basis, or newspapers, whether on a retail or wholesale basis and whether in a non-specialised or specialised outlet.
  • Markets that, wholly or principally, offer food for sale.
  • Outlets selling products necessary for the essential upkeep and functioning of places of residence and businesses, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
  • Pharmacies, chemists and retailers or wholesalers providing pharmaceuticals or pharmaceutical or dispensing services, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
  • Outlets selling health, medical or orthopaedic goods in a specialised outlet, whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
  • Fuel service stations and heating fuel providers.
  • Outlets selling essential items for the health and welfare of animals (including animal feed and veterinary medicinal products, pet food, animal bedding and animal supplies), whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
  • Laundries and dry-cleaners.
  • Banks, post offices and credit unions.
  • Outlets selling safety supplies (including work-wear apparel, footwear and personal protective equipment), whether on a retail or wholesale basis.
  • Hardware outlets, builders’ merchants and outlets that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance or construction and development, sanitation and farm equipment, or supplies and tools essential for farming or agriculture purposes.
  • Outlets providing for the repair and maintenance of mechanically propelled vehicles or bicycles and any related facilities (including tyre sales and repairs).
  • Optician and optometrist outlets. on an emergency basis only.
  • Outlets providing hearing test services or selling hearing aids and appliances, on an emergency basis only.
  • Outlets selling office products and services for businesses or for relevant people working from home, whether on a retail or wholesale basis, also on an emergency basis only.
  • Outlets providing electrical, information and communications technology and telephone sales, repair and maintenance services for places of residence and businesses, on an emergency basis only.
  • Any other retail outlet that operates an online or other remote system of ordering goods for purposes of collection at the retail outlet.
  • Outlets selling food or beverages whether on a retail or wholesale basis and whether in a non-specialised or specialised outlet if they sell food or beverages on a takeaway basis or for consumption off the premises, if staff canteens operating for the exclusive use of persons working in, or at, a particular premises, or hotels or similar accommodation services insofar as they sell food or beverages for consumption on the premises by residents of the service.

The government has also said that although those who travel more than 5km from their home will be penalised, there will be exemptions to this.

Those who work in essential shops or who provide essential services will not be penalised, while individuals will be allowed travel more than 5km to go shopping.

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha.

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