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Long Weekend

Gardaí say family and holiday home visits are not essential journeys ahead of Easter weekend

The force also appealed to people not to organise or go to house parties.

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a reminder that travelling to holiday homes or visiting family are not considered necessary journeys ahead of Easter weekend.

The police force urged the public to continue to comply with the public health guidelines to help reduce the impact of Covid-19.

The statement comes after the government yesterday announced a gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions, which will take place on a phased basis from 12 April.

“Regulations provide for travel restrictions outside a person’s place of residence except for a reasonable excuse or necessary journey,” gardaí said.

Travel to second/holiday homes, family gatherings, religious services etc. are not provided for as a ‘reasonable excuse’ in the regulations.

Checkpoints will continue to operate around the country this weekend including on motorways and dual-carriageways.

Gardaí have the power to issue fines of €100 to anyone found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations.

The force said it will continue high visibility patrolling at public amenities.

It also said that it is important that people avail themselves of fresh air and “enjoy their time off” but urged the public to do so in accordance with public health regulations.

“An Garda Síochána is acutely aware the impact of Covid-19 is having on the communities that we live in,” said Anne Marie McMahon, Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security. “Public Health regulations are in place for the protection of the most vulnerable in our society.  

I appeal to everyone to make that extra effort this Easter weekend to comply with the regulations, which remain in place. Your actions this weekend could protect a loved family member or dear friend.

“We are here to help and support our communities and the most vulnerable citizens,” she added.

“If you know of someone or suspect someone needs support during this time, please contact your local Garda station.”

Gardaí also appealed to people not to organise or go to house parties over the long weekend. “These events put not just those attending, but everyone they meet afterwards, at risk of catching Covid-19,” a garda spokesperson said. 

People who organise a house party can face a €500 fine, while those who attend one can be slapped with a €150 penalty. 

 The public has also been reminded that travel restrictions do not apply to people who are subject to domestic violence.

“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to any person who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been on breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party, An Garda Síochána is here to assist and support you, please report all such incidents,” a garda spokesperson said.

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