Emergency powers for gardaí expected to come into effect this week

Emergency powers for gardaí expected to come into effect this week

Regulations for gardaí to enforce emergency powers during the pandemic could be finalised this week.

It will allow them to force people to go home if they are not abiding by the public health advice.

The Oireachtas has approved the emergency powers but as of yet gardaí have not receieved any regulations as to how to enforce them.

It is something the Justice Minister has addressed, saying he is hopeful of some clarity this week.

"These are complex regulations, these are regulations that are obviously interfering with rights that have long been enjoyed so they are not put together lightly," said Minister Flanagan.

"My department has been working closely with the Department of Health in ensuring the completion of the regulations which I expect to take place over the coming days."

The powers will allow gardaí to force people to return to their homes if they are not abiding by the rules of the lockdown.

At the moment, the force is policing the streets by advising people to return home but the public is not compelled to do so.

Minister Flanagan doesn't believe the regulations will be needed too often.

"The key point here is that the gardaí will continue to approach these policing issues from a public health perspective.

"This is on the advice of public health officials."

In recent days, gardaí have said they've encountered 'widespread compliance' with the public health advice.

    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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