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Shopping centres and nursing homes to reopen amid easing of lockdown measures

New protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will apply to customers and visitors to residential facilities.

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A man carries a Penneys shopping bag in Dublin’s city centre. Businesses are preparing to reopen as phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery road map comes into effect on Monday 8th June along with other measures originally envisaged for later phases.

A man carries a Penneys shopping bag in Dublin’s city centre. Businesses are preparing to reopen as phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery road map comes into effect on Monday 8th June along with other measures originally envisaged for later phases.

A man carries a Penneys shopping bag in Dublin’s city centre. Businesses are preparing to reopen as phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery road map comes into effect on Monday 8th June along with other measures originally envisaged for later phases.

Shopping centres are to reopen on Monday, and people can visiting their loved ones in nursing homes and residential care facilities as lockdown measures continue to ease.

The Government had originally not envisaged reopening shopping centres until August 10 but it has been brought forward as coronavirus has been suppressed in recent weeks.

Last Monday, all retail shops re-opened with hundreds turning up to queue at major retailers such as Ikea and Zara.

Shopping centre owners have been given time to modify the inside of the buildings to ensure there can be safe social distancing.

Seating and dining areas will be removed to lessen dwell time among shoppers while people will be advised not to browse for long periods of time.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

To enforce social distancing, there will be limits on the number of customers allowed into stores.

People will be allowed to visit nursing homes and residential care facilities following a ban on non-essential visits since early March.

Sage Advocacy which campaigns for vulnerable people and patients said people are “counting down the minutes to see their loved ones again”.

Executive director of Sage Advocacy Mervyn Taylor said many families had suffered heartbreak and loss during the pandemic.

He said: “We also recognise how difficult it has been for nursing staff, carers and all workers in care homes and residential care facilities.

“We need to learn important lessons from the impact of Covid-19 and acknowledge that it is time to integrate private nursing homes into the wider framework of health and social care and ensure that there are clear responsibilities for clinical and infection control oversight of all congregated care facilities for older people.”

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Marcela Benetti, a cleaner at one of the temporary public toilet facilities installed by Dublin City Council, on streets in Dublin.

Marcela Benetti, a cleaner at one of the temporary public toilet facilities installed by Dublin City Council, on streets in Dublin.

PA

Marcela Benetti, a cleaner at one of the temporary public toilet facilities installed by Dublin City Council, on streets in Dublin.

People have been advised to ring ahead before they visit a nursing home and to wear a face covering and gloves and visits should not last more than half an hour.

Also on Monday, the Government is expected to launch a public information campaign on wearing face coverings.

They are not mandatory but people have been advised to wear them on public transport, in enclosed spaces and when visiting older people.

On Sunday, it was reported that one more person with Covid-19 died in Ireland, bringing the overall death toll to 1,706.

A further eight cases were confirmed bringing the total number of cases to 25,303.

PA