Gardai were last night given more powers to restrict people from leaving their homes and traveling to holiday homes including thousands across Donegal.
It comes amongst increasing tension among people locally who are concerned about the arrival of holiday-makers over the Easter period.
Minister for Health Simon Harris last night signed the regulations to enforce Covid-19 restrictions.
It is understood that extra checkpoints will be set up by Gardai nationwide including some close to the border with Northern Ireland.
Increased checkpoints began last night including the one pictured above at Illistrin between Letterkenny and Kilmacrennan.
Last weekend Gardai increased patrols in Inishowen following reports of gatherings on beaches and shore-walks in a number of coastal towns there.
Garda patrols are also to be stepped up at key locations such as parks and natural beauty spots.
The initiative comes amidst Government concerns that increasing numbers of people are congregating and not remaining within 2km of their homes.
The Government introduced emergency legislation restricting movement two and a half weeks ago but gardaí had not been able to enforce it because the minister had not signed the necessary regulations.
Mr Harris urged people to “stick the course” and continue to follow public health advice, particularly in the run-up to Easter.
He added: “We need to follow the public health advice, particularly as we come into what is traditionally a busy holiday weekend. There simply cannot be one this weekend.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier tweeted: “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”.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said he does not expect to be able to recommend a lifting of severe restrictions on economic activity and the movement of people by this weekend.
He said continued levels of high compliance was needed with the restrictions introduced last month.Tags: