Dublin City Gets Ready to Partially Reopen

Dublin City Council together with DublinTown, An Garda Síochána and the National Transport Authority join forces to launch informative reopening campaign ‘Easing Like Sunday Mornings’
JUNE 6th 2020: With the latest phase of the government easing of restrictions now confirmed to take place on June 8th, Dublin City Centre is getting ready to partially reopen and welcome people back to the capital while observing key public health guidelines. Dublin city will be easing open… “like Sunday mornings”, with a new communications campaign to help guide visitors and workers on health and safety requirements and information around the city centre.
Many street facing retail operations in the city are expected to reopen with key public health protocols in place. Visitors can expect a new look to the city with vibrant blue signage, information notices on queueing etiquette, and spacing guidelines, all laid out as part of the campaign to help the public adjust to the new normal in town.
Key Stakeholders have joined forces in a spirit of partnership with a view to preparing a strategy that ensures public safety and a subsequent enjoyable experience while in the city. Dublin City Council (DCC), the National Transport Authority (NTA), An Garda Síochána and DublinTown have come together to ensure that health and safety and a positive experience is at the forefront as the city centre partially reopens. The public is advised to be conscious of social distancing measures, and to take note of key travel times in order to facilitate essential workers and their commute and are therefore encouraged to walk or cycle into the city centre where possible.
The public is reminded that longer opening hours are being encouraged across many businesses so visitors can spread out their travel time to ensure that public transport restrictions can be observed during commuting hours for essential workers and throughout the day. People travelling to the city should be mindful of limited public facilities such as bathrooms and toilets due to the non-availability of restaurants, pubs and hotels during this phase. However, Dublin City Council will be working with the partners to make such public facilities available at specified locations.

Tom Brabazon, Lord Mayor of Dublin, said: “It has been a long, hard few months, but today represents a good day for our wonderful city. We’re finally beginning the journey to get back to some level of normality. My message to all Dubliners is that we are looking forward to welcoming you back into the heart of the city from Monday but please remember that we are easing open. For the next while the city will feel like it used to do on a Sunday morning. Today we take the first steps to re-opening Dublin, today is a good day.”
The NTA has announced that the full fleet of public transport will be running from June 8th. However, there will be massively restricted access on all forms of public transport with only 20% capacity allowed in order to allow for safe social distancing. The NTA advises people living closer to the city centre are asked to walk or cycle wherever possible.  When using public transport they ask people to wear face coverings. National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham said: “While there is some increase in services planned, social distancing requirements mean that overall capacity remains restricted to just over 20% of pre-covid levels. This means that public transport should only be used by essential workers or for other people making essential journeys. In particular, only those who absolutely have to travel at peak times on public transport, should do so. To ease any potential pressure on services, we are strongly encouraging people where possible, to travel to their destinations on foot or on a bike. Some 350,000 people live within six kilometers of O’Connell Bridge, which means that if they choose to cycle, they could get from their home to the centre of Dublin in less than 30 minutes. With fewer cars and trucks on our roads, cycling and walking has become much safer, and Dublin City Council, working with NTA, is making the city centre more attractive for those opting for these active travel modes.”
Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy said: “An Garda Síochána is asking the public to plan both legs of their trip in advance, to map out where they are going, not to gather in large groups and to observe all government guidelines and advice. People are reminded to avoid unnecessary journeys during this phase. Social distancing saves lives and people are asked to respect all safety measures in place. An Garda Síochána requests, in particular, that people respectfully engage with on-street and off-street frontline personnel, shop assistants, Gardaí, City Council staff and Transport Providers, in adhering to public safety measures. A traffic management plan will be in place, including parking restrictions, so visitors to the city are being asked to act responsibly and take direction as appropriate.’’
DublinTown has been working tirelessly with businesses in the city centre on how to best facilitate their reopening safely in the coming weeks. SMEs have been hard hit during lockdown, and it is crucial that consumers safely reengage with them. Queue spacers will be clearly marked outside, and inside retail outlets and members of the public are asked to be cognisant of social distancing and cough etiquette at all times when visiting outlets in the city centre.
Richard Guiney, CEO of DublinTown commented: ‘’June 8th marks the next major step in re-opening the city centre. Customer safety is everyone’s priority and therefore, DublinTown has worked with its members, Dublin City Council, Gardai and the NTA to ensure that visitors to the city centre have as good an experience as possible.  Current circumstances mean that things will be different and in this we all have a part to play in utilising the city’s strengths for the maximum benefit of the majority of people.  There will be give and take but we are all in this together and we know that Dubliners will apply their usual common sense and good nature to the changing conditions. We look forward to renewing old acquaintances in a safe and welcoming environment.’’
A recap on tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in the city centre:
•    Plan out your journey in advance and think about what you are travelling in for/which shops etc.?
•    Be mindful that public transport is restricted to 20% capacity and that you are being asked to keep it free at peak times for essential workers
•    Walk or Cycle where possible
•    Practise social distancing and queueing etiquette at all times
•    Continue to practise good hygiene at all times regarding coughing, hand washing etc.
•    Respectfully engage with, and take direction from on-street and off-street frontline personnel, Shop Assistances, Gardaí, City Council Staff and Transport Providers

For further information the public is encouraged to visit www.dublin.ie and www.dublintown.ie where a detailed FAQ page has been put in place to answer potential questions people may have.