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Gardaí and PSNI monitoring cross border travel with many being sent back home

Gardaí and PSNI monitoring cross border travel with many being sent back home

Gardaí and the PSNI are monitoring cross border travel ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend to ensure that travel restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus are being adhered to.

Key checkpoints include one at Junction 20 of the M1/N1 at Carrickarnon, with reports of several vehicles being asked to turn around if they do not have a valid reason for travelling. Other such border sites are being monitored at key locations such as the crossing over the River Foyle from Strabane in Co Tyrone into Lifford in Co Donegal.

The measures were launched yesterday as part of a major operation to prevent people from treating the Easter Bank Holiday weekend as a holiday in the traditional sense.

At the Government’s Covid-19 briefing this morning, assistant secretary general in the Department of Taoiseach Liz Canavan said: “Points of contact have been established to monitor cross border travel and to ensure that restrictions in this jurisdiction are adhered to.

“Key locations of concern have been identified and the Gardaí will follow their usual approach to engage, educate, encourage and enforce as a last resort.”

To combat this there will be thousands of checkpoints around the country each day. Gardaí will also conduct high visibility patrols at major tourist locations, parks and natural beauty spots to ensure compliance with travel restrictions.

Speaking yesterday, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, “This significant policing operation is designed to support travel restrictions put in place to help flatten the curve and save lives.

“There has been very good compliance with the travel restrictions and we want to thank the public for this. However, it is vital that this continues over the coming days and over the weekend. This will save lives.

“In particular, we would ask people who are thinking of travelling to parks, natural beauty spots or holiday homes outside of the 2km limit not to do so. We are sending them a clear message that if they are stopped at a checkpoint they will be turned back.”