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Gardaí begin conducting checkpoints in three counties affected by new restrictions

The new restrictions came into effect in Kildare, Offaly and Laois from midnight.

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA has begun to conduct checkpoints in Kildare, Offaly and Laois as part of the fresh restrictions imposed on the counties due to outbreaks of Covid-19.

Last night, the government announced the new restrictions for these counties, which are set to last for two weeks. Residents in three counties are advised not to travel outside of their county in a bid to prevent transmission of the virus.

People are asked to only undertake essential travel at this time, such as to attend medical appointments, for vital family reasons, for farming purposes or to travel to and from work that cannot be done from home.

Pubs and restaurants are asked to close and only operate for takeaway purposes. People travelling into these counties are asked to do so only for essential reasons.

The rise in cases in these counties is primarily linked to outbreaks in meat processing plants and in Direct Provision. Public health officials have said it was essential to take the steps that have been taken to ensure the virus doesn’t spread within the community.

Gardaí have been conducting the first checkpoints near the borders of these counties since this morning. They’re reminding motorists of the restrictions that came into effect at midnight.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security John Twomey said:

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“Throughout the country, it is vital that people adhere to the public health regulations in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19. This operation is designed to support the restrictions that are being implemented locally in these three counties in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

It is vital that we continue to work to minimise the risk to ourselves, our families and our local communities. We would appeal to all those living in these counties to stay and home and not undertake unnecessary journeys in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

At the onset of the pandemic, gardaí were given powers to enforce the public health restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus.

As the country opened up, these powers were phased out but the government is set to bring in regulations granting gardaí powers in these three counties for the two-week period of restrictions. The regulations are expected to come into force on Sunday night.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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