Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has called for people in Laois, Offaly and Kildare to act in solidarity and observe the county boundaries lockdown rules.
Under new Covid 19 local lockdown restrictions, residents have been asked to stay within their county at all other times, with the exceptions of travelling to and from work or to access childcare or healthcare facilities.
The measures, introduced on the back of advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), came into effect today. They are to remain in place for two weeks.
The same restrictions also apply to towns that straddle the border of two counties, such as Portarligton and Horseleap.
Speaking this afternoon on Midlands 103, the Health Minister said Gardaí do have legal powers to turn drivers back, but that he'd prefer if people acted responsibly and observed the new rules:
"Why would anybody be saying to the guards, 'I am not going to do what the chief medical officer and the public health team, that have steered us so well to this awful time, are telling me'?
"Why would anyone have that conversation with the guards?
"All the guards are doing is saying look, for a two week period, we are being asked to limit our social interactions, so leaving the county for non-essential reasons is one of those asks."