Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (29)

David Stanton

Question:

29. Deputy David Stanton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on allowing the resumption of click-and-collect services for clothing and footwear retailers to facilitate the sale of winter stock to make space and develop cash flow for the purchase of summer stock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8631/21]

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Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

Under Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID-19, only essential retail outlets will remain open. Further information can be found on https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/ The decision to move to full scale Level 5 was not taken lightly and all factors were considered. All measures in Level 5 will stay in place until at least March 5 2021.

S.I. No. 701 of 2020 Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No. 10) Regulations 2020 and S.I. No. 4 of 2021 Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No. 10) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/1f150-view-statutory-instruments-related-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/) clearly sets out the temporary restrictions under Level 5. A list of essential services can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c9158-essential-services/ and the list of essential retail outlets at Level 5 can be found at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/60ecc-essential-retail-outlets-for-level-5/

Level 5 does not restrict people from purchasing any product, it does however restrict people from physically going into non-essential stores.

Under the current temporary restrictions click and collect from non-essential retail outlets is no longer permitted. Click or phone and deliver will continue. This decision is based on health advice and is to stop people making unnecessary journeys, congregating and browsing for non-essential goods, to limit the spread of the virus.

I am not in a position to give an indication as to when certain services can resume or certain sectors can re-open. The Government should be in a position to provide an update shortly.

Retailers can and have made arrangements, on compassionate grounds, for individual customers to urgently purchase a non-essential item in store. This is only in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to plan ahead and avail of remote ordering services such as in emergencies, e.g., admission to hospital.

My colleague Minister English has met regularly with Retail Forum members and representatives from the retail, grocery and distribution sector to continuously assess adherence to the public health restrictions.

The Government has introduced a wide range of supports to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and they can be found on my Department’s website https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.

I would like to thank retailers and their customers for their efforts at this difficult time. By each of us following the spirit of these new rules and working together we can hopefully return to a lower level of the Living with COVID-19 framework.