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Virtual hugs, 'Covid cops' and sneeze-screens – how Irish hotels are preparing for a new world of hospitality

'We don't want hotels to become like hospital spaces', say hoteliers seeking to balance health, safety and hospitality. But can the ceád míle fáilte survive coronavirus?

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John Brennan and TJ Mulcahy practise social distancing at the Park Hotel Kenmare

John Brennan and TJ Mulcahy practise social distancing at the Park Hotel Kenmare

Cliff at Lyons - Mill Front Door

Cliff at Lyons - Mill Front Door

Seaweed baths at the Wellness Spa in the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford

Seaweed baths at the Wellness Spa in the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford

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John Brennan and TJ Mulcahy practise social distancing at the Park Hotel Kenmare

“I don’t think there's any desire to go to a property and be served by Darth Vader with a big hat and a cape," says John Brennan.

"There’s no comfort in that. That's not having a break. That’s going to a place, afraid of your life, saying: 'Jesus, what am I doing here surrounded by a medical environment?'"

Normally, at this time of year, John and his brother Francis would be gearing up for peak summer season at Park Hotel Kenmare.