Garda checkpoint in Portlaoise off the M7 motorway during the Covid-19 lockdown
The top Garda in Laois, Offaly and Kildare has urged the public to stick with the Covid-19 restrictions after noticing that there had been a marked increase in the number of people out and about in the past week.
Chief Superintendent John Scanlon said helping those who are at the frontline in hospitals and nursing homes is the reason why the public must stay at home unless they have to make essential journeys or to take exercise within 2km of their home.
“We are very grateful to the general public for observing social distancing and their cooperation with Covid-19 restrictions but there is a limited number of people who are disregarding these restrictions or coming up with the dog ate my homework excuse for making their journeys.
“We are noticing a greater volume of travel. People are travelling a little bit too much to do urgent shopping or cater for a relative. We would ask that people reevaluate their commitment to this.
“We have no reason to see people locked up in their own homes and we understand the difficulties that families are facing and the stress and strain of this. But there is nothing to stop people coming out and going for a 2 km walk,” he said.
He urged everyone to play their part.
“We would ask them to redouble their efforts to support their neighbours and support the people who are putting their lives on the line in the hospitals and nursing homes. That requires that people do not spread this virus. It is within the capabilities of us all to achieve that,” he said.
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He commended people for their resilience and the level of support for others.
“There are people doing phenomenal unsung hero work. There are people in the background checking and helping their neighbours, providing dinners to the elderly.
Chief Supt Scanlon warned that criminals are committing crimes but that a record number of garda are on the streets to deal with the threat the posed.
Garda HQ in Dublin announced on Monday that Operation Fanacht will once again see an extensive network of checkpoints established across the country from Tuesday, April 28 through the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The Operation runs from 7am on Tuesday, April 28 until the end of the May Bank Holiday weekend on Monday night, May 4.
It will again involve large-scale checkpoints on many main routes, and thousands of mobile checkpoints on secondary routes in towns and villages.
Gardaí will conduct high visibility patrols at major tourist locations, parks and natural beauty spots to ensure compliance with restrictions. Over 2,500 Gardaí will be patrolling the nation at any one time.