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A queue of people outside Woodie's DIY store today in Glasnevin, Co Dublin.

B&Q asks under 16s to stay away as queues mark reopening of hardware stores

Woodie’s has rolled back on its decision to restrict under 16s from its stores.

LARGE QUEUES COULD be seen outside some reopened shops today, including hardware stores, as the country enters Phase One of its exit out of lockdown. 

From today, hardware stores and garden centres are permitted to reopen with social distancing measures in place.

Ahead of this at the weekend, Irish hardware store Woodie’s told customers that under 16s would have restricted access to stores for now, a decision the company later rolled back on. 

Under 16s are permitted into Woodie’s stores now when accompanied by an adult, but customers are still asked to shop alone when possible. 

Another hardware chain, B&Q, has said it is asking for no more than two customers to shop together, and said customers should not bring any under 16-year-olds to stores “where possible and practical”. 

“However, we do understand that some parents may not be able to shop without being accompanied by an under-16 child,” B&Q said in a statement to 

“In these circumstances individual store managers will make a case-by-case decision, but always with the health and safety of shoppers and colleagues to the fore of any decision taken.”

Large queues could be seen outside some Woodie’s and B&Q stores around the country, alongside other retail outlets that reopened today such as DID Electrical. 

coronavirus-mon-may-18-2020 Customers queuing outside Woodie's store in Bray, Co Wicklow today. PA PA

20 Garden centres open Monica and Pablo Garcia in the Beech Vista Garden centre in Dublin today.

Farmers’ markets can also reopen from today, as well as businesses that are involved in the “sale, supply and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles”. 

Other retailers permitted to open from today include: 

  • Opticians and optometrists, outlets providing hearing test services, selling hearing aids and appliances.
  • Retail sellers of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses.
  • Retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home and businesses.

Homeware stores are not permitted to reopen yet, despite being named on the government’s roadmap as shops that could reopen in Phase One. 

Asked last week about the distinction between homeware and hardware, Minister for Health Simon Harris said that homeware wasn’t necessarily an urgent thing to reopen. 

“If you need to buy new curtains, it can wait a couple of weeks,” he said. 

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