Garda enforcement powers to remain as long as lockdown in place, Harris confirms

Garda enforcement powers to remain as long as lockdown in place, Harris confirms

Simon Harris has said says the garda enforcement powers brought in to help slow the spread of Covid-19 will continue.

He made the announcement as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar extended the lockdown for a further three weeks - until after the May Bank Holiday.

Mr Harris says they were always going to be extended as long as the restrictions are in place:

"It was always the intention that the regulations would run alongside the recommendations and restrictions of NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) so I indent to intend to extend the regulations for the period of these restrictions," he said.

Despite some European countries relaxing restrictions ahead of Easter weekend, the Taoiseach said this wasn't an option considered by the Irish government.

Mr Varadkar, however, said he was "keeping a close eye" on countries such as Denmark and Austria who are relaxing their restrictions,.

The Taoiseach also praised the people of Ireland, most of whom are behavioural appropriately as Ireland looks to 'flatten the curve'

"It is not our desire to turn Ireland into a police not for one day, not for one month," Mr Varadkar said.

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