The roadmap to easing pandemic restrictions has been accelerated with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announcing, “summer is not lost”.
Earlier this month the government revealed that the country would be entering Phase 3 of the Government’s strategy to ease COVID-19 measures earlier than expected on June 29, 2020.
As part of the Government’s new plans, the roadmap will now be made up of four phases instead of the initially proposed five.
Alongside bookmakers and commercial businesses, gyms, hairdressers, and cinemas will also be able to open their doors from Monday, June 29.
It is also possible for bars, that serve food, to reopen with table service only.
Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said consumers can expect a very different shopping experience. “Be prepared to queue. For many of us leisurely browsing will have to be replaced by purposeful, direct shopping.”
Fashion retailer Penneys, caused a stir on social media when it opened all sixteen of its Irish stores on June 12 to hundreds of shoppers queuing outside.
As more businesses reopen, KBC reported that Irish consumer confidence grew for the second month in June after the lockdown restrictions eased.
“We would tend to highlight the significant further improvement in Irish consumer sentiment in June as pointing to a somewhat less negative outlook for the economy,” KBC Ireland analyst Austin Hughes said.
“However, the cautious tone of responses to questions on personal finances suggests a still fearful and, in many instances, financially damaged Irish consumer.”
If Phase 3 is successful all pubs, bars, hotel bars, and casinos will be able to reopen from July 20, 2020.
Gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors will also be permissible.