Senator Seán Kyne has called on the Government to ensure there are no stumbling blocks for retailers that want to extend their opening hours leading up to Christmas.
The Galway senator said that retailers should be able to stay open longer without needing planning permission so that they can get the most out of this important Christmas period.
“This will ensure that more of the Christmas spend stays in this country this December. If ever there was a time to encourage people to buy Irish and buy local, it is this year of Covid,” said the Fine Gael senator.
“Ensuring we have extended opening hours will reduce the numbers queuing both in shops and on our streets and thoroughfares, so this is a public health matter as well.”
Senator Kyne said that any regulations or pieces of legislation that are passed must provide the flexibility that is needed for the three-week period leading up to the Christmas shopping period.
But before this, the senator said that we cannot let our guard down over the next two weeks.
“I also acknowledge front-line staff in our health services for their hard work and sacrifice,” he said.
“It has been a horrendous year for retail and hospitality, which are part of the fabric of all our towns, villages and cities.
“We acknowledge the employment these businesses create, both full-time and part-time jobs, as well as the very important revenues for the State and our local authorities.”