Ireland's largest retail industry trade body has warned that isolation periods for close contacts is "having a significant effect" on businesses, particularly along the border.
Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence, says up to 30% of businesses surveyed have had to close for a period of time due to staff absences.
The Government is to consider reducing the length of time close contacts need to isolate following advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Currently, close contacts of a confirmed case may need to isolate for as many as ten days even if they have no symptoms.
However, vaccinated close contacts in Northern Ireland can avoid isolation with daily, negative anti-gen tests.
Speaking to Northern Sound, Mr Graham said differences in isolation periods have caused "difficulty" along the border and added that a more "pragmatic approach" is being taken in the North: