New guidelines have been published by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) to enable shopping centres to reopen safely following closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Shopping Centre Recovery and Protection Guide addresses risks to workers and the public and will help business owners implement the mandatory Return to Work Safely Protocol that applies to all workplaces across the economy.
The document can also be used to help, maintain and improve a shopping centres ability to protect against, prepare for, respond to and recover from COVID-19 related disruptions.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said,
“I was very keen that retailers within shopping centres would have the opportunity to open on as similar terms as possible to their counterparts on the high street, who reopened yesterday. These NSAI guidelines, which have been produced in conjunction with appropriate stakeholders, will ensure that this is possible from next week. Together with the Return to Work Safely Protocol, I am confident that shopping centres and their retailers now have the guidance they need to get back to work safely at this point in time, and I wish them every success in doing so.”
NSAI Chief Executive Geraldine Larkin said the document can play an important role in the overall COVID-19 response.
“The document is essentially a ‘How to’ for Shopping Centres to help them put in place necessary measures, which will enable them to operate safely. Implementing physical distancing measures and introducing queue management systems are just two of the ways business owners can help keep their employees and the public safe.”
Shopping centres can reopen on the 15th June provided only shops open and measures are taken to ensure people do not gather around fountains, food courts, or on benches.
Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Jervis Street, Kildare Village, Mahon Point and Galway Shopping Centre are just some of the many shopping outlets nationwide, which were forced to close their doors almost three months ago.
The shopping experience is likely to be quite different to what it was prior to the outbreak of the virus, with queuing required and additional hygiene measures in place.
View the COVID-19 Shopping Centre Recovery and Protection Guide here.
For media enquiries please contact NSAI's PR Account Manager, Deirdre Farrelly.
Phone: 086 869 0774