By Michelle Crean

Hotels in Kerry, including Killarney, are believed to have been approached by the HSE to use their premises as tests centres should COVID-19 cases increase in Kerry – the Killarney Advertiser understands.

Yesterday evening (Thursday), the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, revealed that there are now 191 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland – bringing a total of 557 in the country.

On Wednesday, six of those confirmed were in Kerry, figures analysed earlier in the week revealed, which means numbers in the county are potentially higher.

There have now been three deaths associated with COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland, and one in Northern Ireland.

Currently there is one testing site in Tralee and the HSE yesterday said that they are “experiencing unprecedented demand on the system” and “are working to ensure the system is in a position to manage this and projected demand going forward”.

This week, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue, said the Government has put in place flexible arrangements for business and personal customers with their banks – including three-month payment breaks where necessary, however customers are advised to contact their bank. He also agreed to increase contactless payments to €50 in the interests of public health policy. The Government also introduced general eligibility for a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of up to €203 per week for six weeks.