Following the Government’s decision to move the country to Level 3 of the National Framework for Living with COVID-19, An Garda Síochána will re-commence Operation Fanacht, from midnight 6th October 2020, as a nationwide policing operation focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures.
Under Level 3, people are being encouraged not to travel out of their county unless for essential reasons.
In support of this announcement there will be high visibility patrolling by Garda members across the country with the focus of this activity continuing to be encouraging people to adhere to national public health measures.
It will involve 132 large-scale checkpoints a day on main arterial routes around the country in addition to thousands of mobile checkpoints on secondary routes in towns and villages a week.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, “An Garda Síochána’s priority is keeping people safe. This will be a major policing operation across the country with high visibility of Garda members to support public health measures.
“An Garda Síochána is encouraging people not to travel out of their county unless it is for essential purposes.
“We want to advise people that will be conducting major checkpoints on main routes and travelling by road from tomorrow will be different from travelling today. People using the roads are likely to face delays.
“Since the start of the pandemic, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing approach based on its tradition of consent. We have seen compliance by the vast majority of the public with this approach. Independent surveys have also found significant public support for it. We will continue to police in this way.
“We have also had a strong focus on the protecting and supporting the vulnerable. That will continue as well. If you need our help, please contact your local Garda station.
“As an organisation rooted in the community, An Garda Síochána understands the difficulties these measures place on everybody. More than ever, we all need to work together and adhere to public health guidelines and regulations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
From the start of the response to the Covd-19 pandemic An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. An Garda Síochána’s response has been fair and proportionate.
In respect of regulations, including travel restrictions, which are not declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána will utilise the following three Es from the 4E approach – engage, explain and encourage, only.
In respect of regulations which are declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána adopts the approach of the Four Es which sees Gardaí engage, educate, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce. Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case.
While An Garda Síochána will seek to encourage people to maintain the necessary public health measures, it will intervene where there is non-compliance with public health regulations.
An Garda Síochána wants to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the basic ways to protect yourself:
• wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
• practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
• maintain physical distancing, that is, leave at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever
• avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself
• Reduce your social interactions