Wales will enter a two week 'Firebreak' lockdown on Friday, while Ireland enters Level 5 restrictions.
Non-essential retailers in Wales and Ireland will be forced to once again temporarily shutter under strict new measures to try and control the increasing spread of Covid-19.
On Friday, Wales will enter a two week 'Firebreak' lockdown, under which shops, schools, pubs and hotels will close, and households told to stay home. Businesses will remain closed until 9th November, and people will not be allowed to attend Halloween or Bonfire Night celebrations or travel around/to Wales for the half-term holiday.
Ireland, meanwhile, has announced that it will be moving to Level 5 restrictions for six weeks starting from midnight tomorrow (Wednesday 21st October) until 2nd December. Non-essential retail will close along with barbers’ shops, beauty salons, gyms, leisure centres and cultural amenities, while restaurants and pubs will only be allowed to serve takeaway meals. A strict 3 mile (5km) travel limit has also been imposed, with exceptions only allowed for work and other essential services.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, said: "If we pull together over the next six weeks, we will be able to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way … the journey will not be easy but the future is in our hands. We must each dig deep and persevere.”
The news has caused consternation across the retail sector in these regions, with data showing that many families had already begun their Christmas shopping. In Ireland, the six week lockdown will see toy shops reopen after 2nd December, leaving just over three weeks to complete festive purchases. As a result, it's likely that shoppers will once again take to online shopping in a bid to get everything ordered in time.
Smyths Toy Superstores has confirmed to Toy World that it will be offering a free same-day Click & Collect service as well as home delivery during the period, as per government guidelines. A spokesperson for the retailer said: "The latest government announcement is a positive outcome for us - our stores are ready and prepared."
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