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Laois County Council, An Garda Siochana and the HSE urge people to stay at home in battle against Coronavirus

Ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend, representatives of An Garda Síochána, the HSE and Laois County Council are appealing to everyone in Laois to continue their impressive efforts in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus.

In an effort to deter people from travelling more than five kilometres, local authorities have closed playgrounds and car parks at many amenities and attractions.

John Mulholland, Chief Executive of Laois County Council has urged people not to allow everyone’s hard work to be undermined and to Stay Safe and, where possible, Stay at Home.

Joe Ruane, HSE Community Healthcare has acknowledged that the collective actions of communities in the region is clearly making a difference but it is crucial that everyone keeps up those efforts:

“We know it’s hard, especially in terms of being apart from families and friends but it is helping to protect and keep our communities – especially vulnerable people and healthcare workers – safe.

“I want to particularly appeal to young people – we in the healthcare community need you to keep that effort going for another while.”

John Scanlon, Garda Chief Superintendent for the Laois, Offaly , Kildare area, highlights that there will be a very visible Garda presence across the counties of Laois and Offaly this weekend:

“Our members will operate an extensive network of checkpoints across both counties this weekend, checking public compliance with the travel restrictions in place as part of Covid-19 public health guidelines.

“There has been very good compliance with the travel restrictions and we want to thank the public for this. However, it is vital that this continues over the coming days and weeks.

“It will save lives. In particular, we would ask people who are thinking of travelling to parks, tourist locations or holiday homes outside of the two kilometre limit this weekend not to do so.

“If you are stopped at a checkpoint, you will be turned back.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen very positive examples of joined-up working across the HSE, local government, An Garda Síochána, Education sector and the Defence Forces. A dedicated community support call centre has been established in each local authority.

The Community Response Helplines continue to be available to people over the weekend.

These helplines involve many community organisations and volunteers and can assist people who need additional support to adhere to the cocooning guidelines.

The help line in Laois is 1800 832 010 from 8am to 8pm each day.

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