Hoteliers have expressed alarm at the additional Covid restrictions being proposed for the country. Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation, said that Level-3 restrictions would make it impossible for many hotels to stay open without a substantial and immediate increase in Government supports.

“This will have a further devastating impact on tourism businesses right across our sector, including hotels and guesthouses. Hotel room occupancies are already at rock bottom, and we now face severely restricted business levels over the coming weeks, effectively shutting down the sector with many hotels likely to remain closed for the remainder of the year.”

“The communications chaos we witnessed today is doing untold harm to our economy. There are fundamental issues around the Government’s response to Covid-19 and the impact of the crisis on wider society and the economy. Engagement with sectors such as tourism and hospitality has been severely lacking, resulting in an enormous level of unnecessary confusion and uncertainty. This is jeopardising essential parts of the economy and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country.”

“It is absolutely essential that the Government change course and collaborate more with business and society groups so that we can get through this crisis while operating within the ‘Living with Covid’ framework. We want to be part of creating a solution for this and we are calling on the Government to immediately put in place structures for engagement with society, business and healthcare. We see a tsunami of job losses in the immediate future if the Government does not change course.”

“Last year tourism supported 270,000 livelihoods, one in ten of all Irish jobs. An estimated 100,000 of these jobs have been lost so far this year and a further 100,000 are at immediate risk without substantial sector specific supports being put in place. This must be reflected in next week’s budget with additional measures around employment supports, local authority rates waivers, reduced tourism VAT and grants to help businesses survive until the industry can start up again. The existing supports for the tourism industry are totally inadequate given the restrictions.”

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