THERE remains some confusion locally about what shops and services should still be operating under the government’s restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Indeed, there have even been some businesses in Fermanagh coming under fire on social media for opening, despite being permitted to do so under the regulations.
While clarity may still be needed for some sectors, such as construction, with regard retail outlets the guidelines are crystal clear. Below is a list published by the Executive fully detailing exactly what shops and services should still be open to the public.
“This list covers a range of essential retail services including pharmacies, hot food takeaways, petrol stations and public car parks near food outlets but there are certain limitations on some of them as well,” said First Minister Arlene Foster.
“For example, cafes will no longer operate in supermarkets, nor will it be possible to eat food in takeaway outlets.”
Ms Foster encouraged people to study the list closely to understand what services will and will not be operating for the foreseeable future.
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill added: “We know how difficult it is for businesses to shut their doors. We are talking about people’s livelihoods. But if this action isn’t taken immediately, it will result in the loss of more lives through Coronavirus.
“We all have a role to play in combatting the spread of Coronavirus and by closing non-essential retail and other services you are playing your part in the fight back.”
1. The Executive has confirmed the following essential retail services should continue to trade:
Supermarkets (excluding any cafes within them), convenience stores and corner shops
Grocery markets – not including farmers markets, hot food markets or street food markets.
Local fresh food suppliers like butchers, fishmongers and bakeries.
Hot food takeaways – over the counter services only and not allowing an option to eat in.
Pharmacies/Chemists and Health food shops.
Dental surgeries, opticians, audiology, physiotherapy, chiropody and other professional vocational medical services – for urgent appointments only.
Veterinary clinics and pet shops.
Hardware and building supplies stores.
Retail services in hospitals.
Petrol stations, garages, and auto repair shops for urgent work only.
High street banks, credit unions and cash points.
Funeral directors, crematoriums and related.
Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop-off points.
Medical or storage services.
Public car parks in towns and cities near food takeaway services.
2. The following non-essential retail services should close immediately:
Hair, beauty and nail salons.
All other non-essential retail shops, including off-licenses.
All other indoor and outdoor markets including non-food markets and car boot sales.
Hotels, hostels, Bed and Breakfasts, Caravan Parks, Camping sites, Boarding Houses – except where caravans and mobile homes are being used as permanent residences and where hotels are providing emergency accommodation.
Community centres and youth centres.
Places of worship – all churches should close to services except for funeral services. Weddings and baptisms should be postponed. If clergy want to live-stream for church services, they are free to do so.
All indoor recreation sites such as bowling alleys, arcades, soft play areas.
Enclosed spaces in public parks such as playgrounds, tennis courts and outdoor gyms.