18 May 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Today marks the first of the five-phase reopening of the economy after the student COVID-19 lockdown in March. Shops which are primarily outdoor – such as garden centres – can reopen today, once social distancing measures can be put in place.
Here is a list of what can reopen today:
- Construction workers, gardeners, and other outdoor workers can return to work.
- Hardware stores, builders merchants and those providing essential supplies and tools for gardening, farming and agriculture; garden centres and farmers markets can reopen.
- Opticians/Optometrists/Outlets providing hearing test services, selling hearing aids and appliances can reopen.
- Retailers involved in the sale, supply, and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles and related facilities (e.g. tire sales and repairs) can reopen.
- Office products and services; electrical, IT and phone sales, repair, and maintenance services for home can reopen. This does not include homeware stores.
- Outdoor public amenities and tourism sites, such as carparks, beaches, and mountain walks may reopen.
- Outdoor public sports amenities, like playing pitches, tennis courts, and golf courses may reopen.
- Outdoor sports and fitness activities in groups of no more than four are permitted within 5km of your home and providing there is no physical contact.
- School and college buildings may reopen for teachers and lecturers to facilitate remote learning, but students will not yet be physically in school buildings.
It is still intended that customers will restrict visits to such stores for essential supplies. All retailers are encouraged to continue to provide online services where that is possible and appropriate to minimise footfall.
During Friday’s press briefing, The Taoiseach placed a large emphasis on the idea of individual responsibility in helping to fight the spread of COVID-19. Basic hygiene measures that should continue to be observed include
- Washing your hands regularly
- Maintaing a 2-metre distance from others where possible
- Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue
- Staying at home and self-isolate if you are sick.
Additionally, people are being advised to wear face masks or face coverings when in public, such as on busy public transport or in busy enclosed, indoor areas. The Taoiseach later clarified that the wearing of face masks is advisory and not a legal requirement.
However, the 5km limitation remains in place for personal exercise. To see a 5km radius (drawn as a red circle) from your home visit 5kmfromhome.com