Kids' entertainment operators in Cork facing 'worrying times' due to coronavirus

Kids' entertainment operators in Cork facing 'worrying times' due to coronavirus

ONE bouncy castle and ice cream van operator in Cork has told how he is down thousands of euro per month because of the Covid-19 public health restrictions.

And the operator of a play centre which nearly closed last year because of spiralling insurance costs has also spoken of the business has been hit with a fresh crisis this year because of the restrictions.

Barry Phelan of Mr Cool Events has more than 40 bouncy castles and said he would typically have had between 20 and 30 castles hired out on the Saturday of the Easter bank holiday weekend. Instead, none of the castles were on hire because of the restrictions on social gatherings.

He said: "It is devastating at the moment. From Paddy's Day to Halloween is when we would be most busy. We have missed out on the start of the season now."

He added that he is currently getting the €350 per week Covid payment but said he could be making up to €15,000 per month some months, particularly during First Communion season.

Meanwhile, Lisa O'Callaghan of Kool Kidz Korner play centre in Ringaskiddy said she and her husband Michael paid €18,000 in insurance for the business last year - up from €9,000 the previous year.

She said the insurance expired in March just as the Covid-19 crisis in Ireland kicked off and they have not yet renewed for the coming season because they are now closed because of the restrictions on social gatherings.

She said: "It is a worrying time."

But she said that even though all bookings are now not going ahead, people have contacted Kool Kidz Korner to reschedule for later in the year.

Peter Boland of the Alliance for Insurance Reform said that businesses face a number of issues when it comes to insurance, especially concerning business interruption cover.

He said it is clear in some policies that Covid-19 is covered but it is not the case with all policies.

He also said that forebearance is another issue for businesses who, he said, should be able to engage with their insurers regarding a rebate or an extension to their policies.

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