The Irish based chief executive of a leading international hotel group has called for an immediate review of the reopening dates for hotels.

Jim Murphy, CEO of PREM Group, said July 20 would be far too late for hotels to try and salvage what will be left of the summer season.

"There is no doubt that the government, the Chief Medical Office and the Irish public have done tremendous work in tackling and supressing the coronavirus," he said.

"It is now, however, time to urgently deal with the detrimental economic consequences that this virus has left in its wake."

PREM Group owns and operates 38 hotels and aparthotels, with 2,990 bedrooms across Ireland, the UK and Europe, including Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort, Wicklow, Osprey Hotel, Naas, Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney and The Hoban Hotel, Kilkenny.

The group normally employs over 1,000 people, although 83% of these are currently laid off.

"Under the current roadmap restaurants can open for diners and guests at the end of June, this includes restaurants in hotels," Mr Murphy said.

"However, those same diners can't then stay at the very hotel in which they have dined."

"This seems ludicrous, if someone can go out and eat in a space where there are other people around them then it’s reasonable to think that it’s even safer for that same guest to move to their own, private hotel room after they have dined?"

Mr Murphy said the government must listen to hospitality groups who have been calling for measures to be put in place such as the removal of quarantine restrictions and the replacement of the two-metre social distancing measure with a one-metre rule.

He also said the industry needs urgent support like grants and liquidity measures.

The hospitality boss called for the job subsidy scheme for tourism and hospitality to be continued.

His call came as the Government appointed tourism taskforce issued details of an initial range of priorities it says the Government must consider.

These include a move to 1m social distancing, the acceleration of the Phase Four social/recreational reopening phases to Phase Three so hotel and other visitor attractions can open and the movement of the "travel outside your region" provision from Phase Four to Phase Three.

It also wants a delay to school re-opening to the week beginning August 31 to allow the domestic holiday season to maximise August.

The taskforce is also calling for schools to be given the option of taking the week long October mid-term break during one of two weeks rather than just one week. 

It also wants the removal of the two weeks of self-isolation recommendation for travellers from overseas countries that are considered to be "safe" points of origin.

A reduced rate of VAT to stimulate demand in the tourism and hospitality sector is also being sought.