Covid-19: Government publishes list of essential retail outlets 1 year ago

Covid-19: Government publishes list of essential retail outlets

A list of what's open for the next two weeks.

With Ireland officially under a version of lockdown until Sunday 12 April - full details here - due to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency, people may be wondering precisely what qualifies as an "essential" service during this time.


In response, the government has published its official list of essential retail outlets and a separate list of businesses that can only offer emergency call-out or delivery services.

It should also be noted that the general public is permitted to travel beyond the two-kilometre limit for food shopping. That restriction relates to physical exercise near your household.

The list of designated essential retail outlets is 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 dry-cleaners
  • Banks, post offices and credit unions
  • Retail sale of safety supply stores (work clothes, Personal Protective Equipment, for example)

Essential retail outlets must adhere to the following governmental guidelines:

  • Ensure adequate distancing between customers and shop assistants in line with public health guidelines
  • Only let people into the store in small groups and ensure spaces are not crowded
  • Manage queue control inside and outside the door to maintain necessary physical distance
  • Provide online services where that is possible and appropriate to minimise footfall

In recognising emergency requirements arising in a number of areas, the government has decreed that the following retailers may offer an emergency call-out or delivery service only:

  • Opticians/optometrists
  • Retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (tyre sales and repairs for example)
  • 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

On Friday night, An Garda Síochána announced details of a major nationwide policing operation that is now in effect until 7pm on Monday 30 March.

"It is vital that people adhere to the social distancing guidelines. This will reduce the spread of Covid-19 and save lives," said Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

"The vast majority of people are complying with the guidelines and we want that to continue this weekend. By all of us working together, we can flatten the curve and keep our loved ones safe."