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Ireland is back to Level 3 restrictions: easing of COVID-19 restrictions from today

DUBLIN: Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions eased in Ireland and the third level restrictions come into force this morning. Accordingly, non-essential retail shops, hair and beauty providers, gyms and leisure centres across the country will reopen to the public.  Movie theaters, museums and galleries may reopen, but pubs serving food and restaurants will remain closed until Friday.

After a gap of six weeks, the country returned to the third level restrictions. With Christmas approaching, the government has decided to ease COVID restrictions on in-store shopping and more.

This time, retailers in Ireland are preparing for the Christmas market with high expectations. It is estimated that at least €1.2 billion euros will be spent on retail outlets this December.

Since it opens after a long closure, more preparations need to be made. There are many challenges to be faced. Ensuring adequate stock and staff in each institution creates excessive costs. Additional hygiene measures should be taken to ensure that staff and customers are kept safe, and necessary arrangements should be made to manage congestion and queue.

The guidelines are being implemented in collaboration with local authorities to manage the queues outside premises. If the crowds increase, the number of people entering will be limited. For this, temporary shelters have been set up outside the shopping centers for the customers.

Some retailers have announced that it will be open day and night, while others will be open for longer hours. The Dublin Town organisation says two-thirds of last year’s people are expected to go on retail today and tomorrow.

Public transport capacity has been increased from 25% to 50% to facilitate access to people. However the National Transport Authority has asked the public to adjust their travel time in order to avoid rush hour. The authority also urged people to avoid peak-time travel in order to ensure there is sufficient capacity for essential workers and children travelling to and from school.

The latest government guideline is to wear masks on busy roads and outdoor spaces. The government has also directed people to continue work from home unless it is absolutely necessary.

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