The latest Covid-19 restrictions in three midland counties have led to some confusion in areas that straddle two counties - areas such as Graiguecullen, which is on the Laois/Carlow border.

Families and businesses in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly are having to adjust to new restrictions, which came into effect last weekend.

The Talbot Hotel Carlow is less than 500 metres inside the Laois border, but was forced to close due to the restrictions.

General Manager William Burke said staff are devastated.

"We pay our rates to Laois, but 85% of our workforce are from Carlow," he said.

"We are members of Carlow Chamber of Commerce and Carlow Tourism. We consider ourselves a Carlow business."

Mr Burke said he fully understood the public health concerns and all guidelines were being complied with, however, it was disappointing to close because of the border location.

The Fr Byrne Estate in Graiguecullen has houses in Laois and across the green, houses in Carlow. It is one of many such units in the area.

Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Jennifer Murnane O'Connor called for a 2km buffer zone to address the issue so that local businesses can reopen.

She said allowances should be made for areas where a town extends into a neighbouring county.

Fr John Dunphy of Graiguecullen and Killeshin Parish expressed concern that a large number of parishioners cannot attend mass at St Clare's Church in Carlow because of the border location. 

He said there was great unease and nervousness in the area once again.


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Public health experts say they understand the frustration in midland counties and bordering towns, but measures are a blunt but very necessary instrument aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.