Hairdressers, restaurants and more reopen as restrictions ease

Many of the remaining parts of the economy that were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions are reopening today.

Pubs serving food, cafés and restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and beauty salons, tourist attractions and remaining retail outlets can all resume trading.

However, they all must continue to abide by strict public health measures, including observing social distancing requirements and the wearing of protective equipment in certain circumstances.

The reopening follows the decision by the Government to bring forward some parts of its roadmap for restarting the economy.

The development means cafés, restaurants, pubs and hotel bars that are serving food and beverages can resume business.

The two-metre physical distancing rules remains in place for them, unless this is not possible, in which case these businesses are allowed implement a one-metre rule in controlled environments, once other risk mitigation requirements have been met.

However, customers will only be able to spend a maximum of one hour and 45 minutes in a pub and they must buy a “substantial” meal worth at least €9.

Hotels can also reopen to guests, as can hostels, caravan parks and holiday parks, but strict guidelines have been outlined by Fáilte Ireland around how they should operate.

Hairdressers and barbers have also begun cutting hair again, after their reopening date was brought forward, while other beauty-related services such as nail salons, spas, make-up application services and tanning can also restart.

Indoor gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres, as well as yoga, pilates and dance studios can all welcome clients back, while well-being services such as chiropractors, massage therapists and homoeopaths can also begin offering services once more.

All remaining retail outlets, such as bookmakers for example, as well as other services and commercial activities, can also resume.

On the culture and tourism front, museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls, as well as cinemas, music venues, bingo halls and arcades can restart business.

However, nightclubs and discos must remain shut for now.

Those learning to drive can start taking lessons again and driving testing is also to resume.

But despite the loosening of restrictions, Government Return to Work Safely Protocols remain in place and anyone who can work from home should continue to do so wherever possible.

Many businesses will also not be reopening their doors today because it is no longer viable for them to trade.

Masses, services and gatherings for worship can recommence from today, but the maximum number of 50 attending indoor gatherings will remain in place.

Protocols are being examined to permit removing the cap of 50 in larger places of worship, if wider health advice is followed.

The intention of the previous government last week was to complete the process of agreement over the coming week.

It is believed that the new Government will follow the same path.

The National Museum of Ireland will open two of its four museums to the public – the Decorative Arts and History museum in Collins Barracks in Dublin and the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

NMI Director Lynn Scarff said the health and safety of visitors is driving the reopening schedule.

She said all sites will operate on a one-way system and both sites opening today have coverings to keep people dry while queuing if it is raining.

By Will Goodbody
Business Editor

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