Gerard O’Brien, Wicklow Branch Chairman of the Irish Hotels Federation and Woodenbridge Hotel General Manager, said that he and his members were disappointed with the new restrictions announced by the government but were understanding of the reasons behind the decision.
"It’s disappointing for the members. We only got confirmation today (Thursday, November 18) that hotels must close by midnight tonight for bands, DJs, residents, everybody,” he said.
"It means that weddings are up in the air now. Some of the hotels have two weddings this weekend and there’s uncertainty around them.”
The decision also impacts Christmas parties in the hotels. Mr O’Brien says that for the Woodenbridge Hotel they’ve had a good few cancellations, especially bigger corporate parties. Smaller offices or groups from the same department in a company haven’t cancelled yet.
“We understand the public health concerns, we don’t feel scapegoated. We definitely weren’t clear about whether midnight restrictions would apply to residents and weddings when the announcement was made,” said Mr O’Brien.
"I think they announced first that hotels would be exempt.
"Supports have tapered off recently and our big hope is that those supports will continue with these new restrictions.
"These restrictions are for three weeks and we hope that Covid settles down by then.”