Kevin Doyle, manager of Laois shopping Centre where even the polar bears are obeying Covid advice
The Christmas rush is expected to start at 9am on Tuesday December 1 and Laois Shopping Centre has prepared for queues of customers outside its Penneys shop by installing a snake queue.
All of the clothes shops will reopen at the centre in Portlaoise as well as across the town and county, while restaurants will reopen for sit down service on Friday, as Ireland relaxed to Level 3 Covid restrictions.
Laois Shopping Centre manager Kevin Doyle is asking everyone to please respect the Covid restrictions to protect themselves and staff.
"We're preparing by introducing our queuing systems and we are hoping that people will follow them and keep their two metre distance and I will ask everyone to wear a mask.
"Even though we are opening the shops, this pandemic is still there, the virus is still there. People need to remember that we want the shops to remain open, into the new year.
"Please protect the staff that are working here, they are very vulnerable. We've kept the shopping centre open throughout the pandemic and our staff here are frontline workers as well. I'd just like to thank all the staff, not just my staff, the shopping centre, the security, the maintenance, the cleaning staff, and all the staff in the shops that have done everything in their power to keep everyone safe and got us this far. Hopefully we stick together and come out better the other side," Mr Doyle said.
He is expecting a big influx on Tuesday.
"Tomorrow we could, we had a lot of people ringing today enquiring about Penneys opening. We have our barrier system outside, and there is a huge amount of new staff coming in today for training in Penneys.
"Each store will have staff counting customers as they come in. The queuing system will then kick in. We have snake barriers in place outside and inside to get in out of the weather," the manager said.
There are extended opening hours at the centre. See their website for details.