Retail Excellence, the largest representative body for the retail industry in Ireland, has said that it would welcome the removal of laws compelling people to wear face masks in shops.
Following its meeting on 17 February, The National Public Health Emergency Team agreed that the requirement to wear masks in most areas, where currently regulated, should end.
If accepted by Government, it would mean that mandated mask wearing will no longer apply in schools, on public transport, in taxis, in public offices, or in retail premises.
It would also no longer apply to staff in customer facing roles, such as restaurants and pubs.
Welcome Return To Normality
“If we do see this law removed, it would be another welcome return to normality after the last two years,” said Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence.
“The physical shopping experience shouldn’t be transactional, it’s about energising the senses and, as such, the further removal of restrictions would be a good thing.”
However, he said that it was crucial that shop owners, staff and shoppers were not made to feel uncomfortable if they decided to continue wearing face masks.
“What works for some people will not work for others, and it is important above all else that people feel good in shops, whether that’s staff or shoppers themselves,” he added.
“If this law is removed, I certainly don’t expect – or would want – it to signal the end of face masks as a whole.”
Great To See Smiles On Faces Again
He added that any move to remove the law around face masks would ultimately help retailers across sectors.
“It’s been a long, hard couple of years for retail, but Irish people have a love affair with shopping which has stood the ultimate test since the emergence of the pandemic,” he said.
“It will be great for shoppers and staff to see smiles on faces again.”