Retailers look forward to resuming normal trading tomorrow

Monday 17th is the latest step in the Government’s plan to ease Covid restrictions

Shoppers queue in Dublin City centre last week following the phased reopening of click-and-collect services. From Monday normal trading for non-essential retail resumes. Photograph: PA

Shoppers queue in Dublin City centre last week following the phased reopening of click-and-collect services. From Monday normal trading for non-essential retail resumes. Photograph: PA

 

Monday will be a “landmark day” for retailers in Ireland as more Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and shops across the country will be able to resume trading as normal, a leading umbrella group for the sector has said.

Retail Excellence, described the re-opening as fantastic news and expressed optimism that another lockdown would not be necessary as the vaccination rollout gathers pace.

“Tomorrow is a landmark day for the retail industry in Ireland and fantastic news for 280,000 retail employees around the country,” said managing director of Retail Excellence Duncan Graham.

“We eased back into trading with click-and-collect services and appointment-only shopping last week, and now retailers get the opportunity to fully welcome shoppers back into their stores after a long, hard four and a half months of the latest lockdown,” he continued.

He suggested that this round of easing of restrictions was different to those that had happened before.

“Thankfully, our vaccination rollout is picking up pace and we have had strong assurances from the Government that we are not going backwards. Finally, this means that retailers can plan for the weeks and months ahead with the sort of confidence that has been missing for over a year.”

He said that shoppers would be confident that retailers are “continuing to uphold the highest standards of safety for everyone in their stores” and he urged people to be “patient when visiting shops once again”.

He said retailers were prepared and fully stocked for their reopening .

However, he added that the sector would “undoubtedly need major financial support from the Government in the months ahead, but for now businesses are relieved to begin trading once more without restrictions.”

Monday marks the latest step in the Government’s reopening plan, which is subject to review, depending on changes in the trajectory of the virus.

The remaining dates in the plan are:

May 17th - remaining shops reopen

The rest of non-essential retail is set to return on this date including many shops which have been closed for months now.

June 2nd - hotels and hostels reopen:

Domestic tourism will kick off again just before the June bank holiday weekend as hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels and guesthouses are due to reopen on this date. Indoor dining will be allowed for residents only. Leisure facilities will also be restricted to guests.

June 7th - outdoor restaurants and bars, gyms, pools reopen

Outdoor services will return for restaurants and bars. No distinction will be drawn between pubs that serve food and pubs that do not, so all pubs that have outdoor facilities can reopen, some for the first time in more than 400 days. The Gyms and swimming pools will reopen. Outdoor sports matches will resume but no crowds will be allowed.

The number of guests attending a wedding reception will increase to 25. Indoor visits in private households will resume with one other household permitted to attend. Furthermore, the Government said it is preparing for the safe return of cinemas and theatres some time in June subject to public health advice.

July - indoor hospitality, casinos and travel

No date has been set for this but expectation is that indoor dining may resume some time in July. The Government has said that once it reaches a critical mass of vaccinations, it will give consideration to resuming indoor hospitality in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and casinos.

The Government will also give consideration to indoor matches and exercise classes, mass gatherings and international travel.