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Social distancing: Glendalough upper car park and Sally Gap closed due to 'sheer volume of traffic'

The National Parks and Wildlife Service said earlier this week that there’s been an increase in people using parks.

Glendalough, Co Wicklow
Glendalough, Co Wicklow
Image: Shutterstock/mielag

Updated Mar 22nd 2020, 3:39 PM

THE UPPER CAR PARK at Glendalough in Co Wicklow has been closed until further notice due to concerns over social distancing requirements. 

Wicklow County Council confirmed this morning that the food franchises at the location will also be closed. 

The council said it has taken this decision due to concerns regarding social distancing requirements. Gardaí have also warned about heavy traffic in the area. 

“We regret the inconvenience caused and would ask members of the public to observe HSE guidelines as regards social distancing,” the council said. 

Gardaí in Wicklow have also confirmed that both sides of the Sally Gap have been closed due to “the sheer volume of traffic in the area”. 

Powerscourt and Enniskerry are also experiencing “extremely heavy” traffic. 

“Please remember to practise social distancing when out and about today and avoid locations that may attract large groups of people,” An Garda Síochána said in a tweet. 

Over the past week, many people have taken the opportunity to go out walking. 

This activity has been encouraged by the Department of Health as a way of maintaining both physical and mental health but those doing so are asked to keep within their own small groups and staying at least two metres apart.

In a statement on Tuesday, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said there has been an increase in people using parks. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Wednesday, NPWS spokesperson Wesley Atkinson said many people were observed yesterday not adhering to social distancing guidelines when queuing and gathering together in groups. 

In its statement, the NPWS provided guidelines as to how many people can go walking safely. 

“To this end, the NPWS is encouraging small walking groups – with a distance of approximately 2 metres between individuals  – to avail of the numerous walks within the Parks and Reserves,” it said. 

“The NPWS asks individuals to avoid congregating closely in large groups, even in these outdoor areas.”

Includes reporting by Rónán Duffy 

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