Children's shoes to be deemed an essential retail item to be purchased by appointment 1 week ago

Children's shoes to be deemed an essential retail item to be purchased by appointment

Various politicians had been calling for the change.

Children's shoes are to be deemed an essential retail item but will only be available to purchase after making an appointment, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed.

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During Leader's Questions in the Dáil on Wednesday, Labour leader Alan Kelly asked Martin if children's shoes were going to be added to the list of items permitted to be sold during current Covid-19 restrictions.

Kelly said: "Given the time period of lockdown, the time period of retail being closed - this is an issue now that's causing serious problems for so many children and so many families, particularly those at a very young age."

In response, the Taoiseach said the Government is finalising specific guidance on the issue that will be outlined in the regulations and published "shortly".

Martin explained that shoe shops and shoe fitting services will be able to measure children's feet and provide shoes after an appointment is made, either online or by phone call.

Shoe sellers will only be allowed to provide the service and shoes for children.

Martin said: "We do take the point that there have been issues in terms of children's shoes being an essential item in the growth and development of children and the need to provide for that."

Speaking on RTÉ News at One on Wednesday, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly stated that he believes children's shoes should be allowed to be sold immediately.

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He said: "I've listened very carefully to some of the doctors who have spoken about some of the medical implications because obviously children grow fast and the shops have been closed for a long time.

"I am clearly of the view that they need to be added to the essential retail list.

"The Acting Chief Medical Officer and I have spoken about it this morning."