Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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531. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she has considered allowing phased opening of shopping centres with a small number of outlets opening gradually, beginning with the smaller shops; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5580/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business has been published by Government and is available at

The Roadmap, phase one of which commenced on the 18th May, sets out how we can keep the level of transmission of COVID-19 as low as possible while balancing continuing restrictions in proportion with the positive social and economic benefits which will be brought about by businesses reopening.

It is important to note that all decisions taken by Government on the timing of any lifting of restrictions will be guided by the public health advice at the time.

Businesses should review the Roadmap carefully and carry out a detailed assessment of their activities with regard to the continuing public health measures.  Businesses should, based on their assessment, identify which category in which phase of reopening they will be in a position to reopen safely and in line with the continued public health measures.  It is not necessary for businesses to seek official authorisation to reopen.

The National Return to Work Safely Protocol is a useful guide for businesses in making their assessments and adapting their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures. It sets out in very clear terms for employers and workers the steps that they must take firstly before a workplace reopens, and then while it continues to operate.

The Protocol is available at

The HSA will be the lead agency in overseeing compliance with the Protocol in the workplace.  If employers or employees need further guidance on the Protocol, the HSA Helpline can be contacted at 1890 289 389 or wcu@hsa.ie.

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