Management at one of Cork's premier visitor attractions don't believe they will be able to open up to the public until next month, despite outdoor attractions being allowed from April 26.
Spike Island staff are eagerly awaiting the nod to reopen, following government plans to allow outdoor attractions later this month. Sites like wildlife parks and zoos can reopen, provided they do not open any indoor areas to the public.
This has meant attractions like Fota Wildlife park and Dublin Zoo could reopen, and with the vast majority of their offering outdoors, this is feasible.
However, Spike Island general manager John Crotty said it falls into a similar bracket as many other Irish attractions, which must now await a formal date for opening indoor cultural attractions.
“While having significant outdoor areas including island walking trails and picnic areas, a large portion of the visit includes internal areas like museums, exhibitions and original period buildings,” Mr Crotty said.
The former island prison and fortress has over a dozen separate museum areas in several buildings dating from the early 1800s, which form a key part of the visit.
Opening indoor cultural attractions from as early as May 4, just a week after outdoor attractions, would be considered an excellent outcome for all involved with Irish cultural sites, Mr Crotty said.
Early indications from the Association of Visitor Attractions in Ireland are optimistic for a May reopening date for cultural sites with some indoor element.
“The industry is optimistic that even if the May 4 date is not met, there will not be much longer to wait for indoor Irish visitor attractions, meaning the public will gain a much-needed outlet, and the option to sightsee the quality sites that exist within their own county,” Mr Crotty said.
“Spike Island hopes to reopen at the earliest possible opportunity when restrictions are lifted, provided adequate notice is given so staff can be returned and retrained,” he added.