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KCC preparing new online directory of businesses now open or re-opening

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Lauren O’Shea and her dog Prince basking in the sun and colour at Liscahane Liscahane Nursery and Garden Centre on Tuesday

Lauren O’Shea and her dog Prince basking in the sun and colour at Liscahane Liscahane Nursery and Garden Centre on Tuesday

Don Nolan working on the displays of flowers at Liscahane Nursery and Garden Centre between Tralee and Ardfert on Tuesday. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Don Nolan working on the displays of flowers at Liscahane Nursery and Garden Centre between Tralee and Ardfert on Tuesday. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Tralee Optician Clare Harty back in action in CH Chemists on Monday morning, testing her first post-lockdown patient Karen Corridan. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Tralee Optician Clare Harty back in action in CH Chemists on Monday morning, testing her first post-lockdown patient Karen Corridan. Photo by Domnick Walsh

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Lauren O’Shea and her dog Prince basking in the sun and colour at Liscahane Liscahane Nursery and Garden Centre on Tuesday

People hit the hardware stores, garden centres and golf links of Kerry this week gasping for some taste of normality after ten weeks of retail and sports starvation.

But the normality they tasted was firmly of the 'new' kind - socially distant, face-masked in some cases, and ever vigilant of the threat of the novel coronavirus.

That's how it will evidently have to be as the first tentative steps of normal life in the shadow of COVID demonstrated on Monday.

It was the first big date in the pandemic calendar, witnessing the reopening of hardware stores, builders' merchants and other suppliers of essential goods, farms, garden centres, farmers' markets, opticians, hearing-aid centres, garages and more.

And we were allowed back on the links and parklands of this famous golfing county to another collective sigh of relief.

All of it went off with admirable restraint on the part of the public, everyone adhering to the 'new normal' behaviours responsibly.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Kerry is preparing to open church doors for the first time in ten weeks for Wednesday morning. However, pews are expected to be cordoned off with people asked to use hand sanitisers and adhere to social distancing while at prayer or reflection.

Masses will remain, for now, behind closed doors with large gatherings everywhere still completely off the agenda.

Between the act of trying to keep two metres from your nearest neighbour at all times, and of untangling the types of businesses and services governed by each phase out of lockdown it can all get a bit confusing.

To that end Kerry County Council is now compiling a directory of all open business, and is inviting firms to register accordingly.

The directory will include an online map showing people where shops and businesses which are open and operating in the area are located or where they have an online and/or delivery service.

The initiative is being led by the Council's Interagency Business Advisory Team as a practical support for Kerry businesses, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council Niall Kelleher said. It comes as analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Kerry economy shows the county facing a loss of €1 billion this year alone.

"This is another initiative being taken by Kerry County Council and our partners as we begin the phased reopening of the local economy under the Government Roadmap for easing the COVID-19 restrictions," Cllr Kelleher said.

"The Council has identified a number of practical supports for businesses and enterprises in Kerry. We have launched a new freephone helpline for business who are looking for advice and support, the Local Enterprise Office is offering a range of training and financial supports, and we are now inviting businesses to register for this online directory." Visit www.kerrycoco.ie/kerry-open-for-business-initiative to register.

Kerryman