Councils around the country have closed car parks at their beaches as they try to stop crowds from congregating over the bank holiday weekend.
It comes after reports of Dubliners flocking to beaches in Mayo and Wexford ahead of the weekend which led the Government to introduce radical emergency policing powers.
Following consultation with An Garda Siochana, Mayo County Council have today taken the decision to close access to public car parks at all beaches across the county and also at Croagh Patrick & Westport Skate Park for the foreseeable future.April 9, 2020
The penalty for breaching coronavirus restrictions is a €2,500 fine or a six-month jail term after the Health Minister Simon Harris signed the emergency powers into law on Tuesday night.
Donegal County Council has limited access to 12 beaches because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To support public health guidance, DCC is restricting vehicular access to a number of beach carparks & beaches following consultation with relevant authorities. Beaches will remain available to those within a 2km distance of them. @GardaTraffic https://t.co/Jqz8kcpURl pic.twitter.com/wjDGC2KP31— DonegalCountyCouncil (@donegalcouncil) April 9, 2020
Vehicular access to the beaches and their car parks has been restricted, but the strands will remain open to residents who live within 2 kilometres of them.
Wexford has followed suit by closing 14 beach car parks in the county.
Car Parks at the following locations now closed;
Ballymoney Beach, Courtown Leisure Centre, Carne Beach, Cahore Beach, Morriscastle Beach, Ballinesker Beach,
Curracloe (White Gap) Beach, Culleton’s Gap Beach, St Helen’s Beach, Kilmore Quay, Rosslare Strand Burrough. #2km!— Wexford County Co. (@wexfordcoco) April 9, 2020
The head of communications with Wexford County Council, David Minogue, said "that will continue throughout the weekend.
Mr Minogue is imploring people not to visit beaches in the county this weekend.
He said: "We may have a number of other car parks that we may also need to close at our beaches if we continue to experience some of the little problems we have had in the last number of days.”
Patricia is speaking to the @mayor_co_cork Cllr Ian Doyle @Corkcoco on car parks at beaches closed this weekend and that the council support services for #Covid19 remain in place over the #Easter weekend #CorkToday pic.twitter.com/e78Mchekkj— C103 (@C103Cork) April 9, 2020
“We’d love you to visit our county, just not now,” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.
When asked if the cars arriving at the beaches had Dublin registration plates, Mr Minogue said he wouldn't like to single out one county above another.
“Let's just say Wexford is a popular destination, and while we love to see visitors - it is the life blood of our tourism industry here - this is not the time to do it.
“We are imploring, indeed encouraging people - we'd love you to visit our county, just not now, not at the moment.”