Penneys has had to address rumours that they will be reopening on Monday, June 8 as the country enters Phase 2 of the government's roadmap to lift lockdown restrictions.
A number of posts have been circulating on social media suggesting that Irish Penneys stores will reopen on a trial basis this coming Monday. A spokesperson has since debunked the rumours.
Speaking to The Journal, the spokesperson said, "We have not made any announcement about reopening in Ireland and social media posts which are circulating with an opening date are false.
"Nothing matters more to us than the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers. That is why we will only reopen our stores once we are convinced that it is safe and right to do so.
"We are closely following all safety advice from the government, and will treat this as the minimum standard across all our stores."
Under current government guidelines, Irish Penneys stores will be able to open on June 29 at the earliest, as the country enters Phase 3 of the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Phase 3 guidelines state: "The opening of all other non-essential retail outlets will be phased in on the basis of a restriction on the number of staff and customers per square metre so that social distancing can be maintained."
Primark stores have been opening back up around Europe with a number of health and safety measures in place. In Belgium, the following rules and measures have been put in place for customers:
- We follow the guidelines of the Belgian government and the National Security Council and constantly limit the number of customers allowed in the store at the same time in order to ensure the recommended distance between shoppers and employees. In Belgium, the recommended distance is 1.5 meters(two metres in Ireland).
- Via clear route markings, floor stickers, specially designated employees and extra security personnel, customers are guided through the store to limit contact with others as much as possible.
- We deployed additional security personnel to help customers maintain the necessary social distance while queuing to enter our store.
- We have adapted the interior of our stores to allow extra space between people who are waiting to pay.
- We have developed a new queue system at our checkout points to enable the social distance between customers. Specially designated employees are ready to steer this in the right direction.
- All our fitting rooms and visitor toilets are temporarily closed in shops where they are present. We can revise this policy according to future developments.
- Entrances and exits are clearly indicated.
- Messages will be distributed regularly through the in-store public address system to remind customers to respect social distancing.