Covid Update: Phase 2 Beckons But Long Road Lies Ahead

Good Evening ,

As the country prepares to make the welcome move to Phase 2 of the Covid-19 reopening plan, I want to update you on recent developments and provide some guidance ahead of next week.

This morning, the Chamber held a call with Minister Paschal Donohoe to discuss the business impact of the ongoing crisis. We highlighted the liquidity issues now facing many of our members and the need for more ambitious supports for struggling businesses. This feedback was reflective of the information you have been providing us with. Indeed, your continued feedback to the Chamber team is vital in informing these discussions and helping us make the case for pro-business measures and a speedy recovery. 

In recent weeks, the Chamber has been pushing for greater clarity on which retail outlets will be allowed to reopen - and when, as well as highlighting the critical situation facing the tourism and hospitality sector. This afternoon, the Taoiseach announced an important relaxation of measures which takes this reality into account. You can read the full details here, while the key changes are below.

From Monday 8th June (Phase 2):

  • All shops can reopen. However, any shop that does reopen must operate staggered hours, opening no earlier than 10.30am. This is to avoid crowding on public transport or interference with essential workers trying to get to work. Shops should also allocate dedicated time to people who are over 70 or medically vulnerable.
  • Solitary workers can return to their workplaces. People who can maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others may also do so on a phased basis. However, working from home should remain the norm for those who can.
  • People can travel anywhere within their own County or up to 20km from their homes, whichever is further. Groups of up to 6 will be able to meet either indoors or outdoors while keeping 2 metres apart. It is planned that all travel restrictions will be lifted on the 29th of June. However, for the time being they remain enforceable by the Gardaí.
  • Supervised playgrounds, and outdoor facilities and amenities for children, including commercial ones, can reopen. Outdoor camps for children can be held once there are no more than 15 people mixing together.

From 15th June:

  • Shopping malls can reopen, provided that only the shops open and that measures are taken to prevent people from congregating, e.g. at benches, fountains, or in food courts.

From 29th June (Phase 3):

  • Hotels, restaurants, hostels, caravan parks, galleries, and museums can reopen. This will make it possible for bars to reopen on the condition that they serve food with table service.

These are positive developments, but further detail is needed on how the reopening process will work in practice. Major capacity issues now face public transport in particular. We are engaging closely with Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority regarding the movement of people over the coming weeks and months, but need your input to develop a clear picture of how, and when, people will be trying to get back to the office.

Please help by filling out this survey, if you have not done so already.


Finally, the Government yesterday updated its guidebook on the Supports for Businesses Impact by Covid-19. I encourage you to review this to ensure that your business is taking advantage of the supports and resources that are available to you.

As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Chamber team if you have any feedback. We are always keen to hear from you.

Kind Regards,

Mary Rose Burke
CEO | Dublin Chamber