Skellig Michael will remain closed to visitors this year due to health and safety concerns.
According to The Irish Independent, an internal Office of Public Works (OPW) e-mail stated, "How do people stay two metres apart if they meet?
"People panting, breathing heavily as they pass each other etc.
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"Also we have to consider risks if they have to administer first aid etc."
Boat Trips Concerns
The boat trip to the island was also cited as concern, with people "needing physical contact/assistance to get on/off", and the possibility of on board issues such as people "being unsteady on feet and maybe bumping into each other, getting sick".
An OPW official stated, "These are issues that the boatmen would primarily have to solve, but we have to be conscious of the issue here when we're risk-assessing the whole proposition."
Another concern cited by internal OPW e-mails was the lack of washing or toilet facilities on the island.
A Difficult Decision
Senior officials at the OPW and the Department of Culture said that the decision to keep the island closed was difficult due to it resulting in the "loss of an iconic tourism draw".
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