Home>Covid 19>Hardware shops, garden centres and office supply stores must close under new lockdown rules
Covid 19

Hardware shops, garden centres and office supply stores must close under new lockdown rules

Hardware and electrical stores, gardening centres and shops that sell IT/office equipment must close under the new lockdown rules – but can offer home delivery or emergency call-out services.

While the Government is this morning still working on finalising the definition of ‘essential workers’, more details have emerged on the restrictions to place on retail outlets.

Many businesses that were previously allowed to stay open must now close their doors to customers.

These include:

  • Opticians/optometrists;
  • Retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (tyre sales and repairs, for example);
  • Hardware stores, builder’s merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture;
  • Retail sale 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.

According to guidelines seen by Independent.ie, these outlets can only offer a service if it is an “emergency need” or if they find a safe way of doing home deliveries.

A list of “essential retail outlets” has now also been published. These are:

  • Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores;
  • Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses;
  • Pharmacies/Chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services;
  • Retail sale of selling medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores;
  • Fuel stations and heating fuel providers;
  • Retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding;
  • Laundries and dry cleaners;
  • Banks, post offices and credit unions;
  • Retail sale of safety supply stores (work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment, for example).

Even these essential stores can only continue to trade if they are capable of implementing strict physical distancing measures.

They must have “adequate distancing between customers and shop assistants” and only let people into the store in small groups.

The management of queue control inside and outside the door must be taken seriously and the Government advises that shops are better to provide online services where possible in order to minimise footfall.

The list of essential workers is still being finalised last night, but Independent.ie understands they include:

  • Health, public health and social care workers;
  • Public and civil service personnel such as gardaí;
  • Those involved in production of foods and medicine;
  • Some financial services employees;
  • Journalists;
  • Utilities personnel such as ESB, Bord Gáis and Irish Water staff;
  • Transport workers like hauliers and bus/train drivers.

A government spokesperson said the full list of essential workers will be published “as early as possible today”.

In the interim, the Government advice for businesses and services which consider themselves essential service, is to remain open, pending publication of the list.

From The Irish Independent.