Businesses across Louth will re-open on Monday morning after the second phase of easing Covid-19 lockdown measures swings into action.
All retail stores which have their own entrances can begin trading again, many opening their doors for the first time in almost three months. These will be followed by shopping centres in seven days, while pubs can open by the end of the month, so long as they serve food an provide a table service.
It comes as the government seeks to speed up the easing of lockdown measures, due to the containment of coronavirus.
Strict guidelines and measures remain in place, with retailers asked to use "staggered hours" to avoid public transport being overcrowded at peak times. Shops will not be allowed to open before 10.30am. They will also be asked to allow for allocated shopping times for vulnerable and older people.
From Monday, other changes will come into effect including:
- You can travel within your own county, or up to 20 km from your home, whichever is greater. These travel limits will be lifted from the end of June.
- Groups of up to 6 people will be able to interact with each other indoors or outdoors, once they keep at least 2m apart. Groups of up to 15 will be able to meet for outdoor sporting activities.
- For those who are over 70 or medically vulnerable, it will be possible to welcome a small number of visitors into your home, with physical distancing observed.
- Shops will also provide dedicated hours for those who are over 70 or in an at risk group.
- All retail stores can reopen, but opening times will be staggered to relieve pressure on public transport.
- You are encouraged to shop locally, shop safely and support businesses in your community
- Up to 25 people will be allowed to attend funerals of loved ones.
- Public libraries will commence re-opening.
- Playgrounds can reopen from Monday, and outdoor camps for children can also be run, once there are no more than 15 people involved.
- Certain types of elite sports training will also be possible.
- More people will be able to return to work, including all those who work on their own or whose work can be done safely while staying 2m apart from others. Working from home should remain the norm for those who can do so.
- Marts can re-open and greyhound racing can resume without spectators.
Welcoming the measures, Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd said:
“The acceleration of the roadmap has been made possible thanks to the high level of compliance with social distancing and hygiene measures, and it’s vital that this continues to ensure that further progress can be made.
“Further work will be carried out in the coming days and weeks to determine which actions will take place in each phase. Some measures such as bans on mass gatherings may need to remain in place well into August as will public health advice around hygiene and physical distancing.”