SHOPS ACROSS Ireland and Northern Ireland have introduced special opening hours in order for the elderly and vulnerable to shop without the risk of being among big crowds.
Belfast's Iceland store at the Kennedy Centre will tomorrow open their doors between 8-9am for elderly people to pick up necessities before the rush of customers clear the shelves, which has been a worrying development amid the spread of COVID-19 across the world.
Belfast SDLP MP Paul Doherty announced the news to his followers on Twitter, where he praised the store and urged citizens to follow the news rules in order to protect the vulnerable.
Iceland Foods at Kennedy Centre, West Belfast will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly starting this Tuesday. The wider public are asked to respect this hour as it has been allocated for elderly people only. Would be great to see other stores now do the same 👏 pic.twitter.com/nfu5Hsz5um
— Paul Doherty (@PaulDohertySDLP) March 15, 2020
"The wider public are asked to respect this hour as it has been allocated for elderly people only," Mr Doherty wrote on Twitter.
"Would be great to see other stores now do the same"."
Lidl Ireland have also announced piority shopping hours for the elderly across all 163 stores in Ireland until further notice.
Each day between 9am-11am the elderly will be given priority to shop for necessities. Lidl Ireland have asked the general public to respect the new measures.
The rise in confirmed cases of the new coronavirus has led to wide-spread panic buying across Ireland, the UK and the US, with most large stores completely depleted of toilet paper, canned goods and non-perishables.
The panic buying has continued despite many stores reassuring customers that there is no issues with supply chains and that there is enough items for everyone.
Chain stores Lidl and Aldi are among those who have introduced purchasing limits for each customer in Ireland, in an attempt to ensure nobody is left without necessities during this uncertain time.