Long queues outside supermarkets in Cork; Strict social distancing guidelines are imposed

Long queues outside supermarkets in Cork; Strict social distancing guidelines are imposed
Clonakilty, West Cork. Dunnes Stores management said only 75 people were allowed into the shop at one time and customers were adhering to the social distancing guidelines. Picture: Andy Gibson

THERE were long queues outside supermarkets across Cork today, as strict social distancing guidelines were imposed. 

Shoppers queued outside supermarkets, at distances of two metres apart, as the numbers allowed into shops at any given time were limited for the safety of staff and customers.

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 physical distancing.

The essential retail outlets are as follows:

  • 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
  • Retail sale of selling medical and orthopaedic goods in specialised stores 
  • Fuel stations and heating fuel providers 
  • 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 Drycleaners 
  • Banks, Post Offices and Credit Unions 
  • Retail sale of safety supply stores (work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment, for example)
Clonakilty, West Cork. Most shoppers waited for 20-30 minutes to enter the store for their weekly shop. 
Clonakilty, West Cork. Most shoppers waited for 20-30 minutes to enter the store for their weekly shop. 

Retail body, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), has issued a letter for company bosses to give to their employees for when they travel as essential workers to work.

REI said they issued the letter as staff are "likely to feel vulnerable and in the coming days they might be asked by An Gardai why they are out and about".

The REI said: "Those colleagues no longer serve you, they serve our Nation."

The letter, dated for today says:

Dear Colleague, As you are aware, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued new COVID-19 measures on Friday evening 27th March 2020.

Our business is deemed an essential business and thus you are deemed an essential worker.

Please take this letter with you as you travel to and from work. It will assure the authorities that you are playing a vital role in this time of crisis.

Thank you sincerely for all that you are doing for our company but more importantly, the vital role you are playing for our great Nation.

Stay safe and please be reminded to follow all of the important health and safety protocols both we and the HSE have advised you of.

We Will Prevail.

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