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Queues as some shops reopen doors

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Hardware stores and garden centres reopened on Monday

Hardware stores and garden centres reopened on Monday

Hardware stores and garden centres reopened on Monday

Wicklow started the slow road to something resembling normality as Ireland entered phase one of lifting lockdown on Monday.

The likes of hardware stores, gardening centres and builders merchants were all allowed reopen, while outdoor public amenities and tourism sites, such as carparks, beaches and mountain walks also reopened.

Glanbia CountryLife Ashford experienced queues of customers keen to purchase items on Monday, though things had eased up a little by Tuesday morning.

'We were very busy on Monday and there were big queues to get in. The place was very busy. Things weren't as bad today (Tuesday, 19th) but we still expect it to be busy,' said Branch Assistant Bernard Quinn.

O'Reilly Hardware in Wicklow town also reopened for the first time since March.

Sales Assistant Hayley Dover Evans said: 'There are big queues at certain times. We are doing plenty of phone and email sales so people can pay for their goods beforehand and then just come in and collect them. That's probably helping keep the queues down. Everyone is social distancing and things have been working out.'

Outdoor public sports amenities, like playing pitches, tennis courts and golf courses are also allowed reopen. This week members of Wicklow Tennis Club aged between 18 and 69 were allowed return to the courts. The hours have been reduced from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and only members who live within 5km of the club may play tennis for the duration of Phase One, which lasts until June 7.

There is no access to the clubhouse so there are no toilet facilities. Many members have volunteered for gate duty as every member has to be checked in as part of the new court booking system that has been introduced. There are two hand sanitising stations on entry and exit of the grounds and two spray sanitisers at the back of each court. A one way traffic flow is in place and court times are staggered with ten minute intervals so there are no more than four people arriving or leaving at the same time.

It is hoped to welcome back junior and over 70's members next week. Golf clubs throughout the county also reopened with social distancing guidelines.

Wicklow People