Essential Retail During Covid-19

Essential Retail Image

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets will close to members of the public and all other retail outlets are to implement social distancing to help with the current Covid-19 pandemic. 

To assist the public and business owners the following is an indicative list of what are considered essential retail outlets:

  • Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers in non-specialised and specialised stores
  • Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses
  • Pharmacies/Chemists and retailers providing pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical or dispensing services
  • Opticians/Optometrists
  • Retail sale of selling medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores
  • Fuel stations and heating fuel providers
  • Retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (e.g. tyre sales and repairs)
  • Retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines, animal food, pet food and animal supplies including bedding
  • Laundries and Dry-Cleaners
  • Banks, Post Offices and Credit Unions
  • Retail sale of safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture
  • Retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses
  • Retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home

All of these outlets must implement social distancing measures:

  • Ensure adequate distancing between customers and retail assistants in line with public health guidelines
  • Only let people into the store in small groups and ensure spaces are not crowded
  • Manage queues inside and outside the door to maintain necessary social distancing
  • Designate certain times of the day to facilitate vulnerable groups who may need to use their services
  • Where practicable, parents are encouraged to limit bringing their children with them when visiting essential retail outlets
  • All retailers are encouraged to provide on-line services where that is possible and appropriate to minimise footfall
  • Contactless payment arrangements are encouraged
  • All other retailers can continue to operate if they can do so on an online basis having regard to general social distancing measures appropriate to all workplaces