"A little bit of slippage' - Gardaí report that people are going to shops two or three times a week rather than once

Offaly Express Reporter

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Garda stopping car checkpoint

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Gardaí have reported that there is 'slippage' in people making essential journeys once a week to shop for groceries which are part of the Covid-19 restrictions. 

Supt Eddie Golden of the Garda Roads Policing Unit told the Crimecall programme on RTE: "There is probably a little bit of slippage in so far as the necessary journeys to the shop for example - it was once a week, maybe people are starting to go twice or three times a week now." 

He added: "And again, we're asking people to be responsible with their journeys and essential travel."

Over the Bank Holiday Weekend there has been increased Garda activity and roads policing enforcement.

Gardaí said the primary focus of this operation is to save lives and prevent serious collisions.

A spokesperson added: "We want people to enjoy this bank holiday weekend as best they can in difficult circumstances, but we also want every road user to act responsibly and stay safe when using the road.”

Under Phase One of the Reopening Ireland Roadmap, people must stay at home in all circumstances, except in the following situations:

- to travel to and from work, if your work cannot be carried out from home
- to shop for essential food and household goods
- to attend medical appointments and collect medicines
for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people - but excluding social family visits
- for farming purposes - that is food production or care of animals
-to engage in physical exercise within 5 kilometres of home, adhering to 2 metre social distancing
-to meet with friends or family within 5 kilometres in groups of no more than 4, adhering to 2 metre social distancing
- to escape domestic violence.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said last week:  "There continues to be very good co-operation by the public with An Garda Síochána in our role of keeping people safe.

"It is vital that we all keep on playing our part in reducing the spreading of COVID-19 by adhering to the updated public health guidelines.
 
"Our priority over the coming weeks will be to ensure this primarily through community engagement at key locations such as parks, beaches and natural beauty spots.

"We also remind people, particularly coming up to the bank holiday weekend, about not travelling to holiday homes or making non-essential journeys.

"At the outset of the COVID-19 situation, I said that An Garda Síochána will continue to operate as a community-based policing service with a focus on protecting the vulnerable. This approach will not change during this phase.”