What happens if I open my business before the scheduled date? It’s a question we get a lot in ESA.

A business in Limerick did just that and were quickly closed down and here is why.

The tanning salon is reported to have opened last week despite the fact that beauty salons, to include tanning salons, are only scheduled to open on the 20th July.

It appears that the Gardai arrived to the tanning salon and spoke with the owner of the business citing government regulations and requesting that they cease trading. The legislation they relied on was The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A- Temporary Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations 2020 and the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020. The legislation states that the carrying on of relevant business or services is allowed, but the definition of ‘relevant’ appears to be a grey area for many.

In this case the salon owners voluntarily closed their business, however, Gardai have stated that had this not been the case that a file is submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for direction as to how to proceed.

Had the salon owners not closed the salon they could have faced criminal offences, corporate liability and criminal liability for directors, shareholders, officers and employees of the salon who committed the offences.

Many businesses are biting at the bit to reopen and might be contemplating taking the chance. We would advise that your business would be better served in the long run by abiding by the regulations and the scheduled reopening dates.

Stay safe and wash your hands!