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Wearing face coverings “the new normal” for shoppers

THE wearing of face coverings become “part of the new normal” for shoppers in Ennis with most agreeing it makes them feel safer, according to CEO of Ennis Chamber Margaret O’Brien. On Monday regulations making face coverings mandatory in shops and other indoor public settings came into force. Similar to the regulations requiring people to wear masks on public transport, those in breach of the rules can be fined up to €2,500 or face six months imprisonment.
Members of Ennis Chamber have welcomed the move, Ms O’Brien tells us. “Feedback from Ennis Chamber members is largely positive.  Staff in most shops were already wearing masks and have become used to them.”
She continued, “So far there haven’t been any incidents reported of customers refusing to mask up, although some have needed to be reminded. Public sentiment has changed considerably in recent weeks around the wearing of facemasks, they have become part of the new normal. Most agree that the wearing of facemasks makes people feel safer when shopping and shop staff share that sentiment.”
The Ennis-based Retail Excellence has also welcomed the new regulations and is looking for the support of the public to ensure these changes are implemented fully.
Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence said, “Since the Taoiseach announced over two weeks ago about the compulsory wearing of face coverings in retail, compliance has steadily improved. We take our responsibilities seriously and will be looking for the support of the public to help make shopping safe for all.” He added that since the start of the pandemic retailers have been working hard, training staff and changing their operations to provide a safe and secure shopping environment for all.
The plan to make face coverings mandatory in shops and other retail outlets was announced three weeks ago. The regulations apply to shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, retail outlets, hairdressers, nail bars, bookmakers, travel agents, laundries and dry cleaners, tattoo and piercing services, museums, libraries, bingo halls, concert halls and cinemas. Children under 13 years of age are exempt from the regulations, as are people who cannot wear face coverings due to a physical or mental illness.

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