Gardai appeal to Donegal people to Stay Home this weekend

Gardai have seen overwhelming public support for Public Health Guidelines and Regulations.  The vast majority of people continue to comply with public health guidance.

But we all need to stay the course, they said in a statement this Friday afternoon

"Covid-19 remains a significant threat to our society.  Covid-19 related deaths are rising. Hospital admissions are increasing.  ICU departments are at capacity.

"Unfortunately, there is also a minority who are not complying. These people put everybody’s health at risk, which impacts on individuals and our society.

Speaking today Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Policing and Security said, "Throughout this pandemic the vast majority of people have been compliant with public health advice. We thank them for that. We know this hasn’t been easy and has involved great sacrifices.

"However, as we all know, Covid-19 doesn’t relax. It doesn’t take weekends off. We are asking people to remember this as they plan their weekend so they can enjoy it while protecting themselves and others.

"Exercise within 5km of your home. If you are doing this in a place that is getting crowded then leave. Minimise your contacts. Only take essential journeys. Maintain social distancing. Wash your hands.

"When visiting amenities within 5km of your home park legally. Illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. As we saw last weekend, people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.”

The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force. Regulation 4 states, inter alia, ‘an applicable person shall not leave his or her place of residence without reasonable excuse’.  This is a Penal Regulation and is enforceable.

An Garda Síochána continue to adopt the approach of 4Es Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce in engaging with the public. However, An Garda Síochána can, and will, issue Fixed Payment Notices for breaches of Covid-19 Public Health regulations where appropriate to do so.

"This weekend An Garda Síochána will continue to support the effort against Covid-19 by enforcing the Public Health Regulations and other relevant legislation where appropriate.

"Travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.  Victims of domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control, will continue to receive highest priority response for service under Operation Faoiseamh.

"If you are a victim of abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim of such abuse, that information is important to us and we ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112, we are there to listen to help and to protect.

"If you are unable to make phone contact please approach any member of An Garda Síochána on duty, on patrol, on a checkpoint and look for assistance, we are here to help.

"An Garda Síochána is committed to working with our communities to help and support those vulnerable or isolated at this time.  If you need help or know someone who does, please contact your local Garda station."

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

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