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Retail Outlets Deemed Essential During Covid-19 Lock Down

A mandatory government decision for Irish people to remain at home for a two-week period, until Easter Sunday April 12th, apart from named exceptions, is now currently in effect across our Republic.

The list of retail outlets which are deemed essential to remain open under the new Covid-19 restrictions are listed hereunder.

These include Food & Beverage stores, Newsagents, premises selling Household Products, Pharmacies, Medical Supply outlets, Fuel Stations, Animal Feed outlets, Pet Stores, Laundries, Banks, Credit Unions, Post Offices, Safety Supply stores and Off-licences; all of the latter now deemed essential.

Opticians, Motor Repair and Bicycle Repair outlets will no longer be able to open their doors and will instead only be permitted to offer an emergency call-out or delivery service; while Electrical, Hardware, Farm equipment, Agricultural supplies, and Gardening outlets, are to have their opening times restricted to call-out or delivery only.

All above named essential retailers remaining open from today, must ensure organised adequate distancing between customers and staff, while ‘queue control’ must be fully implemented.

All private and public gatherings are now banned, however, people can leave their homes for brief physical exercise, but can only travel within 2km (1.24 miles) from their home.


Five Great Free Websites To Keep Kids Entertained & Learning At Home.

With school closures extended until April 19th, keeping your kids learning and entertained at home is part of everyone’s new reality. Here are another five great websites that offer free access to pupils and parents and are highly recommended by educators.

(1) www.Storylineonline.netSuitable for all ages.

The above site is the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website. Simply log-on to storylineonline’s website, YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/StorylineOnline) or download their app to enable your child to listen to their favourite actors read aloud some of the world’s best picture books. There’s even an activity guide linked to each book, so plenty of follow up ideas too.

(2) https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/Suitable for Junior Infants to 2nd Class.

For younger children, ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’ is another award winning website that supports children’s literacy learning and phonics. Their website is free to use and for a limited time their app (which usually costs €5.49) is available for free.

(3) www.readtheory.orgSuitable from 2nd class – Secondary.

It’s hard to believe that this website is free to join, but it is and has almost 14 million users worldwide. This site enables your child to improve their comprehension by reading passages online and answering a series of multiple choice questions. When your child first joins, they do a quick pre-test in order to identify reading ability before assigning reading passages suited to your child’s reading stage.

(4) www.khanacademy.orgSuitable for all ages.

Khanacademy offers free access to lessons and courses primarily in mathematics and science. Pupils can work at their own pace and personalise their learning journey. A great substitute for an actual maths teacher.

(5) Fundamental Movement SkillsSuitable for all ages.

Fundamental movement skills are the skills which support children’s co-ordination and movement. If children are experienced with these fundamental movement skills, they can play any number of sports with greater confidence. The fundamental movement skills include walking, running, hopping, skipping, jumping, dodging, side stepping, landing, balancing, catching, throwing, and striking.

Now more than ever it is important to balance screen time with exercise, so why not enable your child to strengthen their fundamental movement skills by concentrating on a different one each day.

Do visit https://www.scoilnet.ie/pdst/physlit/videos/ for videos and guidance based on the Irish curriculum’s programme; ‘Move Well, Move Often’.


Employees Forced To E-Work From Home Can Claim Tax Relief

Revenue Commissioners

The many employees who have recently been requested by employers to work from their homes, as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, can avail of Revenue’s e-worker tax relief.

Many employees currently, latter who most likely have never directly worked from homes previously, will possibly be totally unaware of this relief that is now correctly available to them.

In excess of 100,000 employees daily already work from home, even before the Covid-19 outbreak. The Revenue commissioners have previously made provisions for these employees to be reimbursed for their work-related expenses, which would include heating, electricity and required broadband costs / expenses. People working from home over the coming weeks, and possibly months into the future, will automatically incur these additional costs.

From a tax perspective, an employer can also pay €3.20 a day to their employees to cover these additional costs. However, since employers have no legal obligation to pay, these expenses still remain eligible for tax relief, which constitutes the right by home-workers to claim tax back.

Note: Any such claims made, must be supported with evidence in the form of receipts and possibly a letter from your employer, indicating that employees worked from home, and that they the employer, have not reimbursed the employee in relation to these expenses.


Covid-19 – Tough Times Ahead But This Too Shall Pass

Ask ‘What can I do?’

Last night’s somewhat emotional ‘State of the Irish Nation Address‘ by our caretaker Taoiseach, Mr Leo Varadkar, showed great sincerity, empathy and leadership, while calmly warning this country, as a whole, on what to expect during this Covid-19 global pandemic.

While sincerity and empathy can be classified as welcome personal qualities, Leadership above all is about keeping our small nation collective and driven towards a common goal.

Ely’s Centra, Inver, Slievenamon Road, Thurles.

Meanwhile here in our Thurles community, leadership is being shown by at least two businesses in particular:-

(A) John Lacy – Lacy’s Butchers, Friar Street, Thurles.

Using Social Media he and his staff state:- “We are open for Business this week. However, with the growing seriousness of the Covid-19 virus in Ireland, please help us by taking on board a few cautious steps & little tips”.
If possible, ring in your order on Tel. No. 0504-21447 with an estimated time for collection. (please allow at least 90 minutes)
If possible, call/collection, Max of 2 customers in premises together
and wait outside until only one customer remains in the premises.
We love our customers one & all, however during this difficult time, please keep visits & chit chat short and sweet, we will catch up properly when this all blows over.
Please where possible pay by CONTACT LESS.
Please keep with guidelines by practising personal protective hygiene.

Thank you, Lacey’s Butchers.

(B) Ely’s Supermarket – Ely’s Centra, Inver, The Mall, Slievenamon Road, Thurles.

Again, using Social Media, the proprietors of Ely’s Supermarket and their staff are offering a ‘Home Delivery Service’.
Consumers can call them on Tel. No. 0504-23778, to place their orders.
Note also, from here you can obtain DVD/Blu-ray rentals, to keep your children of all ages fully entertained.

Any other businesses wishing to tell us about their leadership efforts in this time of crisis? Why not contact us here on Thurles.Info.


Disabled People Now Exempt From Irish Toll Charges

As and from this month (February 2020), disabled drivers and also disabled passengers, whose vehicles are registered as tax exempt, under the drivers and passengers with Disabilities Tax Relief Scheme, will be now exempt from toll charges on every toll road in the Irish State.

So How Will this Scheme Actually Work?

Once a vehicle is registered and has been verified as such, a special identity disc will then be provided for that vehicle identified.
This supplied discs should be clearly displayed on the driver’s side of the vehicle’s windscreen.

Disabled drivers and disabled passengers can make their application for such road toll exemptions, by clicking HERE.