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Tag Archives: Level 5

Garda checkpoints return under Level 5 lockdown

‘EXPECT to meet us anywhere,’ is the message from Clare Gardaí as they continue to enforce public health restrictions on travel. Following the return to Level 5, the policing plan for the division will now see three static checkpoints in Clare, and a number of roving, randomised checkpoints on roads across the county. “We will have checkpoints right across the division and you can expect to meet us anywhere,” said Superintendent John Galvin. “As well as three static checkpoints, we will be operating random, short-term checkpoints at a wide range of locations. The message is that if you are on out on the roads, we will be asking you about the purpose of your journey.” Superintendent Galvin noted that the approach taken to policing the 5km travel restrictions will be a “common sense” one. “We will be there to explain, advise and encourage,” he said. “People are entitled to travel to shop for essentials, for example, but they shouldn’t need …

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Local retailers ‘overwhelmed’ by customer support

OVERWHELMING loyalty from Christmas shoppers has given retailers a badly-needed boost, as the sector braces for further restrictions. While non-essential outlets face another period of uncertainty as Covid cases rise, shop owners have thanked people for making a concerted effort to support them in the month of December. Tina Grogan from Bambino in Ennis said it was very apparent that people made a conscious decision to back local retailers. “It has been so touching and the support coming up to Christmas was phenomenal,” she said. “It was really obvious that people were making an effort to shop local and, after the year that’s been in it, it was almost overwhelming to see.” At the County Boutique, Gwen Culligan described the support as “unbelievable”. “We were just blown away by it,” said the former President of Ennis Chamber of Commerce. “We did brilliant business. Our customers came back to us and it was clear they were determined to give their support.” …

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‘Body blow’ for hospitality as Covid restrictions make an early return

THE return of Level 5 restrictions, which will force gastropubs and restaurants to close from the afternoon of December 24, has been described as “a body blow” to the sector. Fears are growing for the future viability of the hospitality industry in Clare, with a warning that many businesses will face closure in the New Year, unless government supports are stepped up. Reaction in Clare to Tuesday’s announcement that restrictions are to be re-imposed from Christmas Eve, has ranged from resignation in the face of a third wave of Covid-19 to anger at the perceived delay in breaking the news. “This is very disappointing and word got out through a series of Chinese whispers,” said Clare Chair of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) Darragh McAllister. “The way that the details were leaked [last weekend] is shoddy, amateur and no way to run a country. There are huge problems now for the gastropubs in terms of all of the stock …

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Gardaí confirm complaints over ‘breaches’ of retail rules

RETAILERS around the county are receiving visits from Gardaí to ensure compliance with Level 5 restrictions, amid controversy over which shops and products are deemed to be essential. Clare Gardaí have confirmed receiving a number of complaints about apparent breaches of the rules. Despite the government outlining 16 different categories of retail that can continue under the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions, confusion has arisen. Several members of the public have contacted The Champion to say that certain retail outlets appear to be open when they shouldn’t be. Similarly, many retailers who are deemed to be non-essential, have taken issue with the sale of clothing by supermarkets. Retail representative groups say members are angry and confused. “We’ve been asking the government to make all retail essential at this time of the year,” said CEO of Ennis-based Retail Excellence, Duncan Graham. “There was a palpable sense of shock when we moved to Level 5. People are very anxious, they’re very worried, …

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Marts move online under Level 5 restrictions

MARTS will continue to operate under Level 5 restrictions, but all sales will move online and access to the premises in Ennis, Kilfenora, Scariff and Kilrush will be strictly controlled. Sellers are asked to book a time to ‘drop and go’. Similarly, buyers must pre-book a viewing time when they will be able to look at animals in the mart yard. They must then leave the mart and make their bids remotely either online or through an app. “It is going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re determined to keep the service to farmers going,” said General Manager of Clare Marts, Martin McNamara. “We’ve already being conducting a lot of business online and Level 5 means our sales will now move entirely online. Sellers need to book with us in advance so that they can drop their animals off at the mart and go. Buyers, who might be working on behalf of a number of customers, …

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Government hears Conway’s call on addiction support meetings

NEW guidance has been published on meetings for drug and alcohol, and other addiction support groups under Level 3 and Level 4 public health restrictions. On Tuesday, Minister Frank Feighan  published guidelines which permit face-to-face meetings in controlled circumstances. The issue had been raised by Senator Martin Conway when Dublin and Donegal entered Level 4 last month, when he called for support meetings to continue in-person, given the serious nature of addiction and the vulnerability of those who may not have access to online services. The guidance recommends holding meetings outdoors or online, where possible “without diluting the benefits for participants”. In cases where face-to-face group/programme meetings take place, organisers are advised to undertake a risk assessment to ensure the health, welfare and safety of participants. Individuals at higher risk from Covid-19, or in close contact with such individuals, are told to avoid faceto-face group/programmes meetings and instead attend meetings online. “The reality is that there are huge numbers of …

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