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Hotels open earlier than expected as restrictions ease further

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Gerard O’Brien, chair of the Wicklow branch of the Irish Hotels Federation

Gerard O’Brien, chair of the Wicklow branch of the Irish Hotels Federation

Gerard O’Brien, chair of the Wicklow branch of the Irish Hotels Federation

Business in the tourism hospitality sector, including hotels and bars that serve food, should be allowed to resume trading by the end of the month.

Welcoming the earlier reopening than planned of hotels and guesthouses, Gerard O'Brien, chair of the Wicklow Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, said: 'The earlier reopening of hotels is excellent news and a welcome boost for the tourism community in Wicklow, as well as for people of all ages across the country who are looking for a well-deserved holiday after lockdown.

'Hotels have already begun to adapt their services and facilities in anticipation of reopening under Covid-19 guidelines as they prepare to reopen and welcome guests from the end of June.

'The health and safety of employees and guests will always be our main priority,' he said.

According to Mr O'Brien, the IHF has been working closely with Fáilte Ireland on the development of 'agreed operational standards' that cover all aspects of a hotel's operations and facilities.

'We are seeing great examples of creativity, innovativeness and flexibility in terms of how hotels and guesthouses are using their property's spaces as well as rethinking services, restaurant and leisure facilities so that guests can relax and enjoy their break, secure in the knowledge they are staying in a safe environment.'

He also welcomed the decision to extend the Temporary Way Subsidy Scheme until the end of August.

'This is a significant development as it will help tourism businesses, including hotels, to keep their teams together and supported financially during the re-start phase,' Mr O'Brien said.

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