Gardaí launch major operation to stop Bank Holiday travel

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Galway Daily news RSA and Gardaí issue drink driving warning for bank holiday weekend

Gardaí have launched a major operation this morning, with thousands of officers taking part, to stop any travel around the country in the week up to the Bank Holiday.

Operation Fanacht will run throughout this week until the end of the May Bank Holiday weekend on the night of Monday, May 4.

It will again involve large-scale checkpoints on many main routes, and thousands of mobile checkpoints on secondary routes and in towns and villages.

Throughout the week Gardaí will also be conducting high visibility patrols at major tourist locations, parks and natural beauty spots to ensure compliance with restrictions.

At any one time, there will be over 2,500 Gardaí involved in checkpoints or high visibility patrolling.

This is the second time in recent weeks that Operation Fanacht has been carried out, previously running through Easter week from April 8 to 13.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said that it has been planned for some time to repeat the operation in the week leading up to the May Bank Holiday weekend.

“When we last ran Operation Fanacht there was a high level of compliance from the public. It is vital that we see that again.”

“I want to thank the public for their co-operation so far. We know it has not been easy and has required significant sacrifices.”

He said that this is a “critical week” for the country, and that if people continue to work together, it will save lives.

Under the current lockdown conditions people are only allowed to travel 2km from their home for exercise, and beyond that only for very limited reasons such as buying food.

A survey of 35,000 people around the country by NUIG found that the travel limit is overwhelmingly the lockdown restriction which people would most like to seek lifted.

The number of deaths as a result of Covid-19 continued to fall yesterday with the confirmation of 18 new deaths nationwide, and a further three cases confirmed in Galway.

Testing criteria has also been broadened as of today, so that now people who have only displayed one symptom of Covid-19 such as fever, a cough, or shortness of breath, may now seek a testing.