Councils close beach car parks as they implore people to stay away

Councils close beach car parks as they implore people to stay away

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.

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.

    The latest restrictions in operation since Friday, March 27 mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:
  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice social distancing

Donegal County Council has limited access to 12 beaches because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

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.”

“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.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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