Retailers Shocked As Restrictions Extended

31 Mar 2021 | 09.16 am

Retailers Shocked As Restrictions Extended

No roadmap for shut down businesses

31 Mar 2021 | 09.16 am

Retail Excellence, the representative body for retailers, has said it is “deeply shocked and disappointed” that click and collect services will not be reintroduced until May.

Managing director Duncan Graham said that government’s decision to keep non-essential shops closed will have a profoundly negative effect on the retail sector.

“Click and collect is a lifeline for businesses, especially small independent traders, and this move will now seriously threaten the viability of hundreds of retailers around the country who were desperate for assistance and a definitive timeline from the government,” he added.

“We are gravely concerned about the ramifications of a decision that is not proportionate to the threat we are facing from the virus. Retailers believed that the reintroduction of click and collect services was a fair, safe and realistic first step on the road back to where they want to be.

“The government has not only denied them that but also any kind of meaningful timeline to a full reopening of the industry. Almost 300,000 people are employed in the retail sector in Ireland, so it is unconscionable our members have been ignored like this by the government.”

No timeline has been provided for the opening of hairdressers either. In a statement Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the sector could be allowed to reopen in May, but no firm commitment or detail was provided.

From April 12, travel restrictions will be relaxed to enable travel within own county or within 20km of residence if crossing county boundaries. Residential construction projects will also be permitted to recommence.

From April 26, outdoor sports facilities can reopen such as golf courses and tennis courts, though Martin added that this will be subject to prevailing public health situation at the time.

Ahead of May 4, Martin said the government will consider full re-opening of construction activity, phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect, and outdoor retail such as garden centres and nurseries.

Also up for consideration in five weeks time will be recommencement of personal services “on a staggered basis”, reopening of museums, galleries and libraries, and recommencement of religious services “on a staggered basis”.

Martin gave no indication as to if and when pubs and restaurants will be permitted to trade.

Photo: Lockdown in Dublin yesterday. (Pic:






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