FURTHER lifting of restrictions was sealed with a kiss today as the Blarney stone and castle reopened for business.
After months of closure due to Covid-19 the beauty spot is again accessible to visitors, albeit with a strict set of guidelines in place.
The stone is now being regularly cleaned with a WHO-approved cleanser to protect visitors coming into contact with it. An environmental team known as Enva had been working with the castle team to come up with solutions to keep the public as safe as possible.
In recent times it had tested ways of sanitising the stone in way that would be safe for visitors coming into contact with it.
Owner Charles Colthurst, had the privilege of being the first to kiss the stone following the lifting of restrictions, spoke of his delight at the reopening.
"We believe this is a significant introduction of measures to help make this 600-year-old tradition as safe as possible," he said.
"There are some very difficult times ahead in the tourism industry but hopefully this is the start of our journey over the coming years to try and grow our visitor numbers back to similar levels before the covid situation."
Mr Colthurst was excited about the future and added: "We hope to see you all very soon, whether it is to step back in time and learn the famous history of Blarney Castle or explore the world-class gardens that we have on offer."