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Garden centres and golf clubs to reopen May 18

People will be able to engage in outdoor sporting activities individually or in groups up to four, provided social distancing can be maintained.

As part of the roadmap for reopening business and society, garden centres, hardware stores, and golf clubs will be just some of the businesses that are set to reopen on May 18.



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7 May 2020

Garden centres, hardware stores, and golf clubs are just a few of the businesses that will see an end to certain Covid-19 restrictions as the first phase of a five-phase plan begins on May 18.

These retailers will be required to develop a plan for safe operation and protection of staff and customers considering:

  • Social distancing compliance.
  • Hygiene and cleaning.
  • Compliance in higher risk situations.
  • Extended opening hours to enable social distancing.

For golf clubs and other sporting businesses, the opening of outdoor public sports amenities – pitches, tennis courts, golf courses etc. – where social distancing can be maintained is welcome news.

People will be permitted to to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, either individually or in very small groups of maximum four people, where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact.

Decision making

Before each government consideration of the easing of restrictions, the Department of Health (DH) will provide a report to the government regarding the following on/off trigger criteria:

  • The latest data regarding the progression of the Covid-19.
  • The capacity and resilience of the health service in terms of hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy.
  • The capacity of the programme of sampling, testing, and contact tracing.
  • The ability to shield and care for at-risk groups.
  • An assessment of the risk of secondary morbidity and mortality as a consequence of the restrictions.

DH will also provide risk-based public health advice on what measures could be modified in the next period.

The government would then consider what restrictions could be lifted, having regard to the advice of DH, as well as other social and economic considerations – the potential for increased employment, relative benefits for citizens and businesses, improving national morale, and well-being etc.

While each stage is scheduled to begin every three weeks, there is a possibility that restrictions could be re-imposed and this process will be carried out on an ongoing basis once every three weeks.

For more on the five stages to reopening for economic activity (work) and retail, personal services, and commercial activities, see here.

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