Sense of normality returns to Ireland as shops reopen

Sense of normality returns to Ireland as shops reopen

A TENTATIVE sense of normality has returned to Ireland's streets as shops across the country have reopened for business.

Retail stores were given the go-ahead to reopen today, Monday 8 June, after Ireland experienced a significant drop in the numbers of daily new cases of Covid-19, resulting in  the acceleration of the roadmap to reopen Ireland.

On Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

"Today, I can confirm that it is safe to move to Phase 2 of the plan to reopen our country from Monday. This has been made possible by the considerable sacrifices you have made to restrict the spread of the virus and protect each other.

"Thanks to your perseverance in pushing back COVID-19 I am announcing an acceleration of the Roadmap. Over the last few months fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again."

Over the weekend, cities began to prepare to welcome shoppers back into their midst, with Dublin City Council erecting a number of public toilets and shops staggering opening times and introducing hand sanitiser stations.

Some larger retail stores such as Penneys and Brown Thomas have decided to wait until 12 June to reopen their stores in order to give themselves more time for preparations, including finding ways to ensure social distancing within the stores.

Customers have been warned they face a very different shopping experience than before, with Minister Heather Humphreys stating on Friday that 'browsing' would be no more, and customers should enter the shop to buy the items they need and leave quickly.

Citizens have been urged to shop local and stay local, and to walk or cycle to the shops if possible, amid fears public transport could become overcrowded.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Tom Brabazon, said today marks the start of "the journey to get back to some level of normality", but urged people to be careful and "not to all rush in together".