The Irish Hotels Federation is urging the Government to reopen hotels and guesthouses from the beginning of December and to allow people to travel outside of their county.

In an open letter to Government, Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the IHF says failure to do so would be a "missed opportunity" that could have a "detrimental impact" on public adherence to Covid-19 restrictions.

"Public health is the number one priority, and we understand the difficult challenges and choices facing Government in reopening society in a safe way.

"However, continuing to restrict people's ability to travel during the month of December takes a sledgehammer to an issue that is much more nuanced," he said.

Mr Fenn said that hotels provide safe, controlled environments for members of the public.

"With just 0.01% of clusters linked to hotels, according to the latest HPSC figures, hotels should be viewed as an important part of the infrastructure in enabling a safer Christmas.

"We urge the Government to recognise the role we can play in ensuring a safer Christmas," he said.

Mr Fenn said they believe the Government should take a more "balanced" approach to the revised restrictions.

"For many hotels, bookings within their own county would account for less than 10% of their December turnover. 

"There is therefore scant difference between level three and level five restrictions in terms of how hotels can operate.

"Hotels and guesthouses across the country would face significant loss in revenue next month if the mooted Government restrictions go ahead. 

"Given the enormous loss of revenue already this year, this will have a devastating impact – not only on hotels, but on their local economies, employees and communities," he stated.