The CEO of the Laois Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the decision to lift the lockdown in the county immediately.
Bernie Everard was speaking as Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed that Laois was now out of lockdown after a two week stay.
She said: “The business community of Laois waited with cautious optimism over the past 2 weeks to hear the news of the reopening of the county after many businesses were forced to close their doors following a Government announcement on Friday Aug 7.
“Over the 24 hours preceding the localised lockdown, Laois tourism and hospitality businesses suffered cancellations beyond the 2 weeks and well into the autumn months.
“The short summer season was taken away in a matter of a few hours, these businesses have already suffered hugely since mid-March.
“As the positive cases of Covid19 were reported daily, numbers remained low for the county.
“Laois Chamber engaged with many public representatives including a virtual call with the Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar.
“The Chamber called for the government to consider looking at Laois as an individual case and if numbers remained low that the county would have the imposed restrictions lifted.
“Highlighting the serious reputational damage the county was suffering, it became evident that this consequence had not been considered by the government when imposing the severe restrictions.
“Laois businesses while angry, respected the science behind NEPHET’s recommendations.
“As a community they have galvanised and shown enormous resilience and solidarity throughout the 2 weeks.
“Supports announced for Laois, Offaly and Kildare were well received and now with the green light to re-open we thank the people of Laois for their support for all local businesses and call for everyone to continue to shop local, eat local and stay local while businesses get back on the road to recovery.”