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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 21 April 2021

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Ceisteanna (148)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

148. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will explore the merits and the way in which it can be permitted to allow some retail outlets to provide a limited call-in service for the fitting of essential clothing items and-or services such as bra fitting and foot measuring for children’s shoes in view of the fact that without access to these services a person's physical health is being put at risk. [18316/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Enterprise)

I understand this is an incredibly difficult time for businesses and their customers across the country and I would like to thank them for their continued support of the national effort through this unprecedented public health crisis.

S.I. No. 168 of 2021 Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) 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/

The list of essential retail outlets has been updated and now includes retail outlets that sell shoes for children, provide shoe fitting services to children, and sell such products and provide such services on the basis of individual one-to-one appointments made on behalf of a child in advance of the child’s attendance at the outlet.

In line with public health guidelines Level 5 does not restrict people from purchasing any product, it does however restrict people from physically going into non-essential stores. This is to stop people making unnecessary journeys, congregating and browsing for non-essential goods, to limit the spread of the virus.

Under the current temporary restrictions while click and collect of non-essential retail items is no longer permitted, click or phone and delivery can continue.

Under consideration from 4th May, subject to prevailing public health situation, is the phased return of non-essential retail commencing with click and collect and outdoor retail, for example: garden centres/nurseries.

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.

We are also asking retailers to exercise their best judgement and common sense on a case by case basis, to ensure those requiring urgent access to a non-essential item are accommodated.

As Chair of the Retail Forum, I meet regularly with Retail Forum members and representatives from the retail grocery and distribution sector to discuss and assess adherence to the public health restrictions.

COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 - The Path Ahead  which can be found on

https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/resilience-recovery-2020-2021-plan-for-living-with-covid-19/,

sets out the approach to the next phase, which is subject to ongoing review and taking into account the evolving epidemiological situation.

All decisions taken by Government on the timing of any lifting of restrictions are informed by the public health advice at the time.

It is important to monitor gov.ie for the latest information, public health advice and guidelines from Government in relation to COVID-19.

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