Two Limerick city hotels today announced plans for full and partial closure due to the coronavirus.
The Absolute Hotel is to close to the public from tomorrow, but remain open offering limited service to existing guests, while No. 1 Pery Square is to close altogether for two weeks.
Donnacha Hurley, general manager of the Absolute said, "In light of the fast-evolving Covid-19 pandemic and balancing the need to protect our team and customers, we have decided to close our doors to the public from tomorrow.
"Full services will be curtailed until Monday, March 30. The bar, restaurant and lobby will close to the public with immediate effect."
Mr Hurley added "Limited accommodation would continue to be available for long-stay guests and those required to travel during this difficult time - on a room only basis. Guests overnighting during this period will be required to restrict their movements in the hotel to their bedrooms."
He told the Leader he had regretfully informed staff of the decision at a meeting today.
"The decision has been taken for the protection of the our staff, our community and our guests," Mr Hurley said.
The move will affect all 70 staff members who are being assisted with the required Social Welfare paperwork and queries.
Mr Hurley said, "We will be looking at the situation on a weekly basis. The safety and welfare of our incredible team and loyal customers is to the fore in all of our decisions."
He pledged to continue to keep customers up to date via social media and invited people to to contact his team via the normal channels should they have any questions, wish to move a future reservation or just to chat.
"At this difficult time, we would like to thank our employees for the incredible spirit that they have shown in face of the challenge and look forward to gathering again to welcome our customers back in happier times."
Meanwhile, Patricia Roberts of No. 1 Pery Square announced on the hotel's website, "We as a small family run business have made the decision to close our doors to the public temporarily from tomorrow until the end of March.
"This decision was made to protect and safeguard the health of our incredible team, our families and you our friends. There is no denying that it saddens us to have to do this but we know that this is what we as a nation need to do and that is look after ourselves and our loved ones – It is a difficult time for us all but “We will get through this!”
"We would like to thank our dedicated and loyal team for their perseverance and hard work over the past number of days in looking after you all. We had implanted many changes that unfortunately are not enough to combat this, so we know this is the right decision. We will endeavour to do our very best to support them over the next few weeks."
"To all the retail workers still ensuring we have access to food and supplies and to the healthcare professionals on the front line – We Thank & Salute You!" she concluded.