Long queue down Laois street after chippers reopened during Covid-19 crisis

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Long queue down Laois street after chippers reopened during Covid-19 crisis

The queue outside a Portlaoise chippers on Tuesday night April 7 after it reopened

Customers queued down the street for their chips when a traditional chippers in Laois reopened yesterday.

A photo shared on social media shows people standing in a queue on Portlaoise Main Street on Tuesday evening April 7.

The Golden Grill had reopened at 1pm that day during the Covid-19 lockdown as is allowed for a food business.

The Golden Grill has since apologised for the queue on the street and said that the rules were followed inside its premises.

"Golden Grill -Portlaoise wishes to apologize for the unforeseen queue that formed yesterday outside our business. IT WAS NOT & IS NOT our intention to put anybody’s health at risk. Apologies again," the business said on social media.

It had reopened at 1pm and began home deliveries at 5pm.

The business had issued a statement online asking people to follow guidelines during the Covid-19 crisis.

"We’re open but please follow these guidelines if possible for the health and safety of our customers and staff. We would ask that only adults collect orders in the shop and when receiving their food delivery at home. 1. Phone in Orders for collection on 057-8622149 prior to arriving at the shop where possible. Please respect the timeframe given for your meals to be prepared. 2. On arrival to the shop please note maximum number is 4 customers at a time. 3. Please use hand sanitizers provided. 4. Please use contactless payment where possible. We will still be accepting cash.  We are entering unknown territory at this time and would ask our customers to be patient with us as I'm sure we may be a little off with our timing to try make sure the health & safety of everybody is 100% uncompromised. Thanking you for your patience and support during this difficult time and we look forward to serving you," they said.

Laois Gardaí stated last night that it has visited fast food several premises to remind businesses of their responsibility.

"Superintendent Anthony Pettit of Portlaoise Garda Station said that Gardaí have called to fast food premises and reminded them of their responsibility.

"Takeaways are allowed to be open at the moment as they are providing food which is an essential service. However, they have a responsibility to adhere to social distancing guidelines in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus".

"We have called to a number of different businesses in recent days and have seen how they are managing by putting on an extra staff member to manage customers and ensure they do not come too close together. So we have reminded businesses to employ extra staff members to ensure social distancing regulations can be followed," the Gardaí said.

The Mountmellick branch of the fast food business is not reopened.