Plea from authorities to act responsibly

Plea from authorities to act responsibly

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Ahead of the May bank holiday weekend, Clare County Council and An Garda Síochána are asking people not to travel to parks, beaches or other amenities outside of the 2km limit.

They are especially asking people not to travel to holiday homes and to remain in their primary residence over the weekend.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, emphasised the importance of adhering to the travel restrictions and public health measures that are in place.

“Everyone is urged to stay in their home wherever possible. Staying at home is the best way to minimise the risk of Covid-19 to your friends, families and communities.

“These measures remain in place because they are making a huge difference in reducing the spread of Covid-19. We cannot relax our efforts now, as to do so would risk undoing the progress that has been made to date.”

Mr Dowling thanked everyone who is adhering to the restrictions for their valuable contribution to the public health effort. Acknowledging this is a difficult time for many people, Mr Dowling said that there are things we can do to maintain our wellbeing while we are at home.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

As part of the ‘In This Together’ campaign, Clare County Council and its partners are working to help people stay fit and active, stay connected and look after their mental health. A list of available resources will be shared on the Clare County Council website.

Mr Dowling reminded the public that Clare County Council continues to provide key services during this period. Council staff are ensuring continuity of essential and critical services across key operations.

He praised the ongoing efforts of the elected members of Clare County Council who, while for the most part operating via remote access, “continue in partnership with our staff in co-ordinating a range of programmes across the county.”

Mr Dowling also highlighted the supports available through the Clare Covid-19 Community Response Forum, which is providing assistance to vulnerable members of the community throughout the current public health emergency.

“Clare County Council, through the Forum, along with An Garda Síochána, the HSE and other partners, is providing essential support to the most vulnerable members of society.

“The Forum is ensuring there is a co-ordinated community response to the unprecedented crisis through which we are living, enabling voluntary statutory agencies to collaborate in support of our communities.

“We are available to engage in constructive dialogue with members of the community as we continue to work together at this difficult time,” Mr Dowling said.

Gardaí operating a Covid-19 checkpoint in Ennis – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

An Garda Síochána have advised that anyone found to be travelling to a holiday home or secondary residence this bank holiday weekend will be turned back. Gardaí will be patrolling the road network throughout County Clare over the bank holiday period, in both marked and unmarked vehicles.

There will be a number of static checkpoints each day of the weekend on the main roads into Ennis and the main roads into Kilkee, Lahinch and Killaloe.

Gardaí will also be patrolling parks, beaches and natural beauty spots to ensure compliance with travel restrictions.

“Working together as a community we can all minimise the impact of Covid-19. We all have to do our bit during this difficult time and in general Gardaí are finding that people are adhering to the government’s guidelines 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,” Sean Colleran, Chief Superintendent, Clare Garda Division, said.

People are reminded to take the following actions to protect themselves:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty;
  • Practise good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • Maintain physical distancing, that is, leave at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

The Clare Covid-19 Community Response Helpline can be contacted on freephone 1800 203 600.

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