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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021

Garda helicopters are conducting Covid-19 aerial surveillance to ensure people are complying with guidelines

Gardaí confirmed the helicopter is being used for Covid-19 surveillance.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

THE GARDA AIR Support unit is being used to identify groups of people who are not complying with Covid-19 distancing measures.

The helicopters have been scouting a number of different locations where it is possible that large gatherings are taking place. 

Large parks as well as local beauty spots are also being put under surveillance by the helicopters.

If a gathering is seen, the information is then passed to the officers on the ground who will work to disperse those who are flouting the regulations. 

The helicopters were also used as part of Operation Fanacht, a garda initiative which was targeting those disregarding public health warnings over the Easter break.

While most of the nation has adhered to the guidelines set out by health officials, there have been a number of incidents where gardaí have had to intervene. 

Over the bank holiday weekend, officers made seven arrests using the new powers given to them at the start of the month. 

Gardaí conducted 150 permanent checkpoints on major routes, over 500 shorter and mobile checkpoints, as well as a large number of high visibility patrols.

The use of the garda helicopters is expected to continue until the restrictions currently in place are relaxed. 

A garda spokeswoman said: “The Garda Air Support Unit is monitoring traffic and conducting patrols of major tourist locations, parks and natural beauty spots to ensure compliance with travel restrictions and monitoring traffic. This is in addition to regular policing duties.”

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