Gardaí are set to switch the focus of checkpoints to inter-county travel as Ireland moves to Level 3 today.
Over 100 garda checkpoints will be in operation on roads around the country every day. Mobile checkpoints will continue and static checkpoints will operate during off-peak hours – 10am to 4pm, and 7pm to 9pm. Fixed checkpoints will no longer take place on motorway/ dual carriageway routes in the coming weeks.
From 1st December, the public is being told to stay within their county apart from work, education and other essential purposes. Inter-county travel will be permitted from 18th December to 6th January.
Gardaí will continue to work to encourage compliance with public health measures, while high visibility patrols will take place in key city, urban and retail locations in the run-up to Christmas. There will also be patrols that will focus on the night-time economy.
Checks on licensed premises under Operation Navigation will step back up again and Gardaí say they will be liaising closely with retail and licensed premises.
A spokesperson confirmed that community engagement activity will continue to focus on the vulnerable and those who feel isolated, particularly during Christmas time. Gardaí will also focus on continued active investigation of domestic abuse, as well as support for victims under Operation Faoiseamh.
Commissioner Drew Harris said, “Throughout the pandemic there has been very good compliance by the public with the health advice and regulations. It is critical that this continues in Level 3.
“While people are able to undertake more activities and travel wider from 1st December, we all need to remember that COVID-19 is still with us and we should act accordingly. We all must continue to play our part by heeding the public health advice. This is the best way of protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours.”
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, “Between now and 18th December, An Garda Síochána’s focus is on keeping people safe through a wide-range of operational activities. In doing so, based on our tradition of policing by consent, An Garda Síochána will maintain its 4Es approach with the main emphasis being on engaging people to encourage compliance.
“In addition, while the run-up to Christmas is a time of joy for many people, for some it can be lonely and difficult. An Garda Síochána will have a particular emphasis during the coming weeks on reaching out to people who are vulnerable or feel isolated. We are here to help in any way we can. If you know someone who is struggling or needs help, please contact your local Garda station and we will do whatever we can. Even a social distanced chat can make a world of difference to people at this stressful time,” added Deputy Twomey.