Three Counties Lockdown: What does it mean for retail?
Just as retail was beginning to get back on its feet and enjoy a return to normal, three counties in Ireland were put back into lockdown.
Regional lockdowns were put in place in Kildare, Laois and Offaly following a surge of Coronavirus cases there.
Addressing the nation, Taoiseach Michael Martin said the pandemic was still a “deep and urgent threat” and announced that a number of lockdown restrictions would apply to three counties for two weeks, from midnight on August 7th.
It’s a setback for retailers across Kildare, Laois and Offaly. In particular, the restriction of movement within the counties with the exception of work purposes and other essential journeys poses one of the biggest threats. Especially for forecourts who had been seeing an increase in fuel sales with more cars on the road.
Travel to these counties is also to be avoided, which means retailers here may lose out on the predicted increase in staycation spending from those holidaying at home. Research by Circle K revealed that a fifth of the Irish public were planning to spend €800 on their Irish staycation this year.
For now, retail can remain open with face masks mandatory within stores across Kildare, Laois and Offaly, and restrictions are to be reviewed before August 21st.
However, Leo Varadkar has warned that the localised lockdown across these three counties will not be the last, warning that similar measures may be repeated across the country in the coming weeks and months.