Queues and the maintenance of physical distancing outside retail stores

Queues and the maintenance of physical distancing outside retail stores

The Government’s overriding objective during Covid-19 is to ensure the public’s health and safety. The public health advice is clear and consistent. Everyone is urged to stay in their home wherever possible until advised otherwise. Staying at home is the best way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to your friends, families and communities. People are asked to stay at  home in all circumstances, except in certain situations including;  to buy food, medicines and other health products for yourself, your family or someone who is vulnerable or ‘cocooning’.

More information available here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/cf9b0d-new-public-health-measures-effective-now-to-prevent-further-spread-o/

The Department of the Taoiseach and an Garda Síochána have reported that there were issues with regard to queues and the maintenance of physical distancing outside retail stores, and in the car parks of retail stores on Thursday 30 April. The Gardai have asked that retailers would consider not holding weekly specials over the next few weeks that risk giving rise to increased footfall at stores, and thereby present challenges to physical distancing.

The public health objective for essential retail outlets remains to keep footfall to the absolute minimum and to make use of home working as much as possible.   Retail outlets that open should ensure that physical distancing and public health guidelines are rigorously implemented.

The Government’s Public Health Guidelines of 27 March https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/625292-updated-list-of-essential-retail-outlets-27th-march-2020/ provide guidance on keeping footfall to a minimum and on physical distancing measures as follows:

  • ensure adequate distancing between customers and shop assistants in line with public health guidelines;
  • only let people into the store in small groups and ensure spaces are not crowded;
  • manage queue control inside and outside the door to maintain necessary physical distance; and,
  • all Essential Retail Outlets are encouraged to provide online services where that is possible and appropriate to minimise footfall.

It is imperative that all businesses must adhere to physical distancing requirements and the latest public health guidance at all times. The NSAI has provided a COVID-19 Workplace Protection and Improvement Guide for the Retail Sector to assist retailers and retail employees at this challenging time.

Enterprise Initiatives Unit (Regional Enterprise Plans, Corporate Social Responsibility & Retail Consultation Forum)

DBEI (Covid-19) Supply Chain Unit

An Roinn Gnó, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

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