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Allow people travel outside county – say hoteliers

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Hoteliers are calling on the Government to allow people to travel outside their county and to permit indoor dining in hotels, including for non-residents, as part of its reduced restrictions for reopening society safely this December.

Bernadette Randles, Chair of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Kerry branch, says these measures will ensure hotels in Kerry and across the country can reopen in a safe and sustainable manner, while helping to provide safe, controlled environments for people during the festive season this year.

DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS

“It is clear that Christmas will be very different this year. Nonetheless there is still an expectation that people will be able to travel to family outside their county, and hotels can be an important part of the infrastructure in facilitating this safely. We are urging the Government to recognise the important role hotels can play as part of the solution for a safer Christmas,” she said.

"Public health is our number one priority. Hotels provide very safe, highly-controlled, spacious environments with extensive measures in place to minimise the risk from COVID-19. The sector’s proven track record is borne out by statistics from the HPSC, which show that hotels have been associated with very few clusters (0.14%) since March.”

Ms Randles added that "by allowing indoor dining, including for non-residents, the Government can provide a safer option this year".

"The controlled environment of hotels can help to minimise the number and extent of social gatherings in home settings, thereby significantly reducing the risk this Christmas."

SEVEN DAYS' NOTICE

The IHF is also asking for at least seven days’ notice of the revised restrictions for December so hotels can plan effectively.

“There are five key weeks of trading available to hotels when they reopen at the start of December so it is vital that hotels can operate as fully as possible while obviously staying within the restrictions. This trading period can act as a life buoy in terms of sustaining the early few months of the year. With two weeks of preparatory time remaining, and the necessity for reasonable lead-in times after such a long closure period, realistic advance notice is crucial.”

Before entering Level 5 restrictions, hotel revenues were already down by over 80% nationally.
"As a result of the current restrictions, revenues have collapsed even further and there is a real sense within the sector that hotels are being disproportionately affected despite our commitment and proven track record in safeguarding public health,” she said.

15,700 JOBS LOST

Since March, hotels and guesthouses, along with the wider tourism industry, have been decimated by the impact of COVID-19 Government restrictions. Prior to the pandemic, tourism and hospitality supported the livelihoods of some 270,000 people nationally, including 15,700 jobs in Kerry where it generated €592 million in revenues annually for the local economy.

“Hotels here in Kerry and in every county have shown that they can operate safely during this pandemic. All we are asking is for the opportunity to do so again and in a manner that will help make Christmas memorable for our guests, our teams and their families after such a difficult year for everyone,” she added.

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The tax you’re really paying for your health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?” In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. We have it, and we use it, and, […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?”

In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.

We have it, and we use it, and, of course we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.

We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the things we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the swimming pool.
When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend hiking and camping trip. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut down calories because we feel we need the energy.

Those things are taxes. Physical taxes, but they’re not the worst taxes we pay.

The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.

When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb or fail.

We don’t want to start a new lifestyle because our families will say “good for you”, because they know we need it, or they’ll say “you don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.

When we’ve been away from the gym for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck and we might get embarrassed.

SELF IMPOSED TAX

The Government makes us pay financial tax, but the other two – physical and mental – are self-imposed.

No one cares if you’re slow.

No one cares if you finish last.

No one cares if you blow your nutrition this week and have to start all over again.

You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realised how rarely they actually do.

Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying – and most of us overpay.

We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.

If you’d like to start taking steps in the right direction with your health and fitness, call in for a free consultation with us at Activate. Visit www.activate.ie/free-intro for more information.

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Tractor run raises €500 for charity

By Sean Moriarty Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019. 30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980. Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019.

30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980.

Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ on Lewis Road, the convoy travelled to the communications mast near Coolick in Kilcummin, where participants enjoyed views of the wider Castleisland district and Killarney Valley.

“Some of the drivers were never up there before and they were amazed with the views across the two valleys,” organiser Tom Leslie told the Killarney Advertiser.

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