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Marts not in phase 1 of Government's lifting of restrictions

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Stock image from Mohill mart

Stock image from Mohill mart

Brian Farrell

Stock image from Mohill mart

Marts will not be among the business which will see restrictions lifted in May, according to the Governments plans to reopen the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marts will re-open in phase two of the Government's plan which may not come into force until early June.

The Government hopes to reopen the economy in three-week Phases starting on May 18. However, addressing the country this evening the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the phased re-opening of businesses could be stalled.

He said the plan is to reopen the country in a "slow, staged way" of three week intervals, with the fifth phase beginning on August 10.

Mr Varadkar warned that the risk of a second wave of the virus is "ever present" and the country can only move from one phase to the next if the virus stays under control.

The first phase of easing restrictions will begin on May 18, when open air workers, such as builders, landscapers and roofers, will return to work in two weeks time under new plans being discussed by the Cabinet.

Among the measures that could take place then - depending on progress in fighting the spread of the virus - would be the reopening of construction sites.

Garden centres and hardware stores could also reopen on that date.

It had been hoped marts would reopen in a restricted capacity in the coming days after new protocols were developed by mart managers and representatives.

The closure of the marts for such a prolonged period is likely to wreak havoc on the viability of the sector already under pressure financially in recent years.

It has also wreaked havoc on the trade of cattle and sheep at one of the business times of the year for mart activity.

Online Editors