Coronavirus: Milano pizzerias and Ikea latest businesses to close

Knock Shrine staff to be laid off; Citylink to cancel all bus services; Abbey Theatre closes

As of 6pm on Friday, all Ikea stores across Ireland and the UK will be temporarily closed

As of 6pm on Friday, all Ikea stores across Ireland and the UK will be temporarily closed

 

Milano pizzerias have become the latest business to announce temporary closure as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the retail and hospitality sector.

Swedish furniture company Ikea also announced it would close its UK and Irish stores from 6pm on Friday.

In an email to customers, Zoe Bowley, managing director of Milano restaurants said she wanted to write and keep customers up to date with news “in these circumstances”.

“For over 25 years, we as a brand have felt very proud and honoured to be a part of your family, serving our neighbourhoods and communities through good times and bad,” the email states.

“So, with the safety and wellbeing of our teams and customers in mind, we’ve taken the decision to temporarily close all of our Milano restaurants until further notice.”

She added: “We very much intend to remain part of your community for the next 25 years and beyond, so we will do all we can to ensure we reopen as soon as is recommended.”

Ms Bowley said that all bookings made over the next six weeks have been cancelled and queries should be directed to feedback@milano.ie.

“Whilst we are unable to serve you in our restaurants at the moment, we remain committed to ensuring our customers can enjoy the great taste of our much loved Milano pizzas in retail stores,” she said.

“Before we sign off for now, we would like to say a huge thank you for being a part of our story so far, for choosing to spend good times together in our restaurants over the years, and to our team members who love making memories with you. This is just goodbye for now - we’ll be back as soon as we’re able to!”

Ikea

Ikea announced in a statement on its website that as of 6pm on Friday, all stores across Ireland and the UK will be temporarily closed “as a precautionary measure”.

“Co-workers are at the heart of the Ikea business and we are committed to supporting them in the best possible way during this complex and fast-evolving situation. We would like to thank our co-workers and partners for their dedication and hard work through these unprecedented times,” the company said.

The furniture chain said shoppers would still be able to purchase their products online and have the purchases delivered to their home. Contact-free delivery is also available, the company said.

The move comes in a week when shops across the country have shut their doors in what has been described as “the hardest and most challenging” week in Irish retail history.

Earlier this week, Brown Thomas, Arnotts and Penneys all announced that they were closing temporarily due to the pandemic.

Veritas, a leading retailer for books about the mind, soul and faith, announced in a statement on its Twitter page that it was closing its stores until April 20th.

Veritas director Aidan Chester said: “We are taking this step because it is the right thing to do and is in the best interests of our staff and customers.”

Knock Shrine

Meanwhile, staff at Knock Shrine in Co Mayo are to be temporarily laid off from the end of this week.

A statement said this is being done “with a very heavy heart, but this crisis is unprecedented for all of us and this action is necessary in order to secure the long-term future of our valued employees.

“Unfortunately, the weeks ahead present many unknowns but we are confident that we will overcome this crisis together and will come back stronger than ever.”

The statement added that the situation has forced a new way of thinking for the shrine, and that they will continue to live-stream two Masses a day on its website, Facebook and YouTube.

Citylink and Air Eagle

Separately, Citylink is to cancel all bus services from midnight. It said the decision was taken to help in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Citylink operates services between Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin, including a number of direct services.

The suspension affects all Citylink and Air Eagle services until further notice.

Abbey Theatere

The Abbey Theatre in Dublin has also announced changes to its upcoming programme for April and May due to the closure of the premises last week.

A number of productions, including Faith Healer, Ireland’s Call, A Taste of Honey and This Beautiful Village, have been postponed and new dates will be announced in due course.

A statement by the directors of the theatre said ticket-holders for affected performances will be contacted by the box office.

“We greatly appreciate your patience, as we work to update each customer individually,” the statement said.