The motor sector has welcomed the news that showrooms can reopen on Monday.

The Government's original reopening roadmap had stated that retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles were included in the first phase.

However, the industry had for a number of weeks been seeking clarity from Government as to whether this included vehicle sales also.

This afternoon the Government confirmed that those involved in the supply of vehicles and motorcycles could resume activities on Monday.

The clarity has been welcomed by the trade representative body, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, as well as car suppliers here.

"SIMI is pleased with the Government's announcement that the sale and servicing of cars and commercial vehicles can re-commence from Monday next," said Brian Cooke, Director General of SIMI.

"This is a reflection of the professionalism of the Industry and commitment to health and safety of motor retailers. The size of dealerships relative to footfall lends itself to social distancing, while sanitisation  and other measures being put in place for both premises and vehicles should give customers reassurance."

He said the industry has already played an important role during the lockdown in supporting emergency and essential services, and the increased opening will allow members to contribute to their local economies in terms of business activity and supporting employment.

"We look forward to welcoming customers back to our retail network across the country from Monday 18th May and catering for their needs," said Niall Phillips, Brand Director at SEAT Ireland.

"The health and safety of our customers and staff is of great importance to us and we hope the introduction of the complementary cleaning service and warranty extension will provide our customers with peace of mind during this challenging time.

Motor dealers had been anxious to get reopened so that they didn’t miss the traditional window of heightened sales activity in the run up to the July changeover of registration plates.