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A major nationwide policing operation is underway until Monday

By James Fenton

March 28, 2020 at 8:19am

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Following on from last night's announcement of stricter measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, the Gardai have launched a major nationwide policing operation.

On Friday evening, the public were told to stay at home for the next two weeks with a few exemptions to the restrictions such as shopping for essential food and goods or to provide care for children and the elderly. People are also asked not to travel more than 2km from their homes unless they are working in essential services.

With the weekend now upon us, Gardai will have an increased presence on the streets in an operation that is 'focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures over this weekend.' Thousands of officers on foot, bike and mobile patrol will be encouraging people to adhere to public health measures as announced by An Taoiseach.

The operation began last night at 7pm and will continue until Monday at 7am. Last weekend, there were a number of cases where people gathered in large groups in popular public areas such as Howth and Glendalough.

Speaking about this weekend's operation, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: "An Garda Siochana’s priority is keeping people safe and that will continue this weekend. There will be a major policing plan across the country with high visibility of Garda members at key locations.

"It is vital that people adhere to the social distancing guidelines. This will reduce the spread of Covid-19 and save lives. The vast majority of people are complying with the guidelines and we want that to continue this weekend. By all of us working together, we can flatten the curve and keep our loved ones safe.”

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey added: "These high visibility patrols are to provide re-assurance and social distancing advice to the public."Garda members will pro-actively engage positively with people. An Garda Siochana will police as it has always done with the consent of the people. It is in everybody’s interest that people comply with these measures."
Further information on this weekend's policing operation can be found here
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