Fourteen outlets have featured on the National Public Health Emergency Team's (NPHET) "essential services' list.
All non-essential retail businesses are closed to members of the public from today (Wednesday, March 25th), while other outlets are to implement physical distancing.
Among the "essential retail outlets" are:
- Hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture;
- 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.
Social distancing measures, the NPHET outlined, include:
- Ensure adequate distancing between customers and retail assistants in line with public health guidelines;
- Only let people into the store in small groups and ensure spaces are not crowded;
- Manage queues inside and outside the door to maintain necessary social distancing;
- All retail outlets are encouraged to designate certain times of the day to facilitate vulnerable groups who may need to use their services;
- Where practicable and, in so far as is possible, parents are encouraged to limit bringing their children with them when visiting essential retail outlets;
- All retailers are encouraged to provide on-line services where that is possible and appropriate to minimise footfall;
- All such retailers are encouraged to offer contactless payment arrangements;
- All other retailers can continue to operate if they can do so on an on-line basis having regard to general social distancing measures appropriate to all workplaces.