Garda checkpoints expected to turn back people driving to holiday homes for Easter

Warning from Chief Medical Officer

Senan Hogan

Reporter:

Senan Hogan

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editor@kildarepost.com

Motorhome

File Photo of a motorhome

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to “stay home for Easter” and avoid unnecessary travel in order to limit the spread of coronavirus. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has backed the call on this Twitter account this afternoon. He said: "Please do not visit a holiday home or caravan park this Easter weekend. The spread of the virus is slowing but people travelling could give it a boost - spreading it and seeding it in areas unaffected so far. Stay at home and #FlattenTheCurve"

The Easter break and bank holiday weekend is a traditional time for some families to travel to holiday homes in scenic areas  - and motorhomes and vehicles towing caravans are also a common sight on roads at this time of year.  

Knowing that sunny weather is being forecast, Dr Holohan issued a warning on Monday night that people with second homes should not travel to them for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

He also reiterated calls on the public not to engage in unnecessary travel or leisure activities.

Gardaí are expected to increase checkpoints and patrols coming up to the Easter weekend as part of their policing response to the Covid-19 health emergency.

Officers are already turning back motorists or cyclists who are not on essential journeys and are over 2km from their homes. 

Calling for people not to travel to holiday homes, Dr Holohan said: "I understand that this is a challenge, this is a big ask for society.

"It's appealing to look at the weather, it makes it difficult, we're asking people to have patience with us.

"We will stay in touch with colleagues on a cross-government basis, including Gardaí, to add to our assessment of how measures can be complied with.

"I anticipate we'll be asking people to stick with the tough measures we've been working with so far."

The current restrictions on movement, which are due to end on Easter Sunday, will be considered at National Public Emergency Team meetings on Tuesday and on Friday.

 The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) yesterday reported 370 new confirmed cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 5,364.