Deciding whether to make the trek to the shops today? Here's what you'll need to know
Ireland is officially out of Level 5 restrictions today, as the country reverts back to Level 3, and non-essential retail and services can reopen.
As it's December 1st, it's natural to be excited to get in some Christmas shopping before the big day, but the government have urged us to take caution when venturing out to the shops this month.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said that there may be more crowding in busy areas than at the end of the first lockdown, but that that doesn't mean we should forget guidelines.
"One is not compelled to get on a crowded bus, or walk down a crowded street or go into a crowded shop. It’s really important that people begin to recognise these things and begin to take actions themselves," Dr. Holohan said.
But if you are on the way into your local shopping centre to pick up some bits, here's what you need to know.
What's opening today?
Non-essential retail and services can reopen today. That includes:
- Nail salons and beauty treatment services
- Clothes shops
- Department stores
The guidelines around wearing masks have been updated and it's worth keeping in mind if you're venturing out to shop this week.
The government recommends wearing a face covering in any enclosed indoor space, including shops, shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, hair salons, etc and on public transport. Face coverings are also recommended in vehicles where you aren't in a bubble with the other passengers (like a taxi), or when in contact with over 70's or those with underlying conditions.
From this month, the government is also recommending us to wear masks in crowded outdoor areas and streets - think Grafton Street of an evening, or while queuing to get into a shop or café.
Many shops will be operating under extended opening hours this month to accommodate the Christmas rush, with some even opening overnight this week for shoppers.
Here are some of the most popular shops that have extended their hours for December.
The mecca that we all will be venturing to at some point this month has gone above and beyond for their grand reopening.
Two of Penneys Dublin stores will be open for 24 hours today for its first day back on the high street - Blanchardstown and Dundrum opened this morning at 7am and will remain open until closing time tomorrow.
The majority of stores across Ireland will also be open until 10pm in the lead up to Christmas this month.
The toy store will extends its hours until 11pm from Monday to Friday until December 23rd.
Brown Thomas stores across Ireland will open from 10am to 9pm on weekdays, Saturdays 9am to 8pm and Sundays 11am to 7pm.
Arnotts will be open from 10am to 9pm six days a week, opening at 11am to 9pm on Sundays.
Top supermarkets are also extending their opening hours this month, with Aldi and Lidl heralding the return of their middle aisles.
- Aldi stores will open until 10pm, and in the three days before Christmas Eve, will open from 8am to 11pm (some stores may vary).
- From December 17, Lidl will open from 7am to 10pm until Christmas Eve.
- Store opening times at SuperValu vary, with some stores staying open until 11pm.
- Similarly, some Tesco stores will open until 11pm, varying from store to store.
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