Monday, 19 October 2020
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the Irish retail sector, said any move to close down retail deemed “non-essential” would be a massive blow to the sector, which is still recovering from the lockdown earlier in the year.
A nationwide move to Level 4 or 5 would involve the closure of thousands of retail businesses, with tens of thousands of retail staff out of work as we approach the key Christmas trading period. While government supports are in place for affected businesses, those without a developed online offering will particularly struggle. Many retailers around the country are relying on the Christmas trading period to stay in business.
Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “No other European country is actively looking at the level of nationwide retail restrictions currently being considered for Ireland. The retail sector has radically transformed how it operates, with face masks, social distancing and other hygiene measure, to ensure a safe and highly controlled environment for customers and staff. With only a fraction of Covid clusters linked to retail settings, it is crucial that policy makers set out the risk assessment that has informed this decision and a strategy for unwinding any measures introduced. Covid is going to be with us for some time and customers need ready access to the products they require on a regular basis.”