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Late-night shopping and longer hours being considered for busy Christmas period

By Sarah Finnan

November 19, 2020 at 10:07am

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Government are considering plans that would enable late-night shopping and longer hours for retailers once level 5 restrictions are lifted. 

Non-essential retailers are currently closed under level 5 restrictions, however, with public health guidelines set to be reevaluated once again in the coming days, it's hoped that late-night shopping and longer hours will be allowed as part of their reopening in order to facilitate the Christmas rush.

Busy putting a number of different plans in place for the coming weeks, it's believed that government are working on a new plan that would allow shops to stay open as late as they choose in the run-up to December 25th.

Several retailers have called for extended opening hours to make up for lost time, already envisioning that there will be a huge surge in customers once businesses reopen their doors.

Government are expected to issue an official update on nationwide restrictions next week with Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Businesses Damien English commenting that public health experts must take a look at the data from the past few weeks before any decision is made.

Speaking to RTÉ News at One, Minister English said that longer hours are being considered to accommodate Christmas shopping - in the same breath warning customers that there will be a number of precautions in place and things will not be as they were in previous years.

Adding that it is government's "full intention" to reopen retail outlets as soon as is possible, Mr English seemed positive that the country is "moving in the right direction".

"We are putting plans in place to reopen safely, to facilitate that important month of December. That is our full intention... We've always said that whenever the figures allow it and when it's appropriate, we would reopen."

READ NEXT: ‘You can’t furlough a giraffe’ – Government looking into supporting Dublin Zoo following public appeal 

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