Gardaí have reintroduced an express lane at a Covid-19 checkpoint on the N18 near Cratloe to facilitate HSE staff and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.
First used during the first lockdown in April, the lane allows HSE staff travelling to and from work priority at the Garda operated checkpoint.
The checkpoint was re-established when Covid Level 5 restrictions were introduced last week. Gardaí have been engaging with the travelling public and ensuring that those who had good reason to be travelling are doing so.
HSE workers can access the lane where they are asked to produce their HSE identification. Staff can then proceed through the checkpoint without delay. The route is used by staff returning home to Clare from University Hospital Limerick and other HSE facilities in Limerick as well as those travelling to work in Clare.
The lane is also available for use by HGV drivers many of whom are making deliveries to shops and supermarkets deemed to be essential services.
Concern had been expressed on social media that queues were forming at checkpoints across the region and that people were being delayed in their travel to and from work.
However, the introduction of the HSE/HGV Express Lane last evening has already seen a considerable drop in transiting time through the checkpoint.
A Garda spokesman said: “HSE staff are asked to have their ID badges ready for inspection and don’t need to roll down their car window. The checkpoint is well sign posted and Gardaí are asking drivers to heed the warning signs and to slow down on the approach to the checkpoint. The message is to be patient and stay safe, please.”