The upcoming Bank Holiday weekend has sparked anxiety in Donegal’s coastal towns over the influx of visitors.
A combination of the Easter holidays and good weather forecast has led many local residents to fear that outsiders will flout travel restrictions and journey to their Donegal holiday homes in the coming days. Residents fear that the rise in travel will worsen the spread of coronavirus.
In light of reports, Gardaí have again urged people to stick by the safety measures, only exercise within 2km of your home and avoid all non-essential travel.
This year, a plea has gone out to Donegal’s seasonal visitors to ‘Stay at Home’.
Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue said: “Every Easter, we see an influx of people to towns and villages right across the county, who provide a boost to the local economy. This year that is simply not an option, and I am urging our seasonal visitors to please stay at home this bank holiday weekend.
“The time will come again when they will be welcomed back, but we are simply not there yet and we have to put public health first. I would be very worried about people coming into our county to their second homes when they should be staying in their own communities to contain the spread of the virus as much as possible.”
Deputy McConalogue added that social distancing would “simply be impossible” in caravan parks when facilities are shared and space can be at a premium.
He said Donegal holidays can wait until the fatal virus has passed.
“Tourism is one of the main drivers of the local economy here in Donegal and under normal circumstances everyone is most welcome in our county. However, we are in unprecedented times and we have to listen to and heed the advice of the country’s Chief Medical Officer and our public health team.
“We will be able to travel again once this pandemic passes and if we do what’s necessary now, that time will come quicker. For the health of our loved ones, our neighbours and our communities, please stay at home this Easter,” Deputy McConalogue concluded.