By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney hotelier has described his shock at the number of bookings his hotel received on Monday night after the Government announced the country was going to Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

Under the new level restrictions people cannot leave their county of residence. However, hotels can remain open but only to offer accommodation to essential workers or workers who have work away from home, but they cannot operate for tourism or recreation reasons unless the bookings come from residents of the same county where the hotel is based.

When Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan arrived at his family run Fáilte Hotel on Tuesday morning he was informed by reception staff that the hotel had received a flurry of overnight bookings, particularly for this weekend, despite the restrictions being announced the previous evening.

“They came from everywhere, Kildare, Cork, Laois,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I had to ring them all and cancel them. They just did not get it. I don’t think they were coming to Killarney to go to work for the weekend.”

While Niall has done the responsible thing and closed his premises for three weeks to comply with the restrictions, he said he hoped that all other local hotels would follow his example and refuse to take non-essential bookings from outside the county.