Fixed Garda checkpoints on motorways and dual carriageways to enforce travel restrictions will be discontinued from today.

Issuing an update on the latest change to public health guidelines and restrictions – going from Level 5 to Level 3 – An Garda Síochána said it was adapting its ongoing policing operation, known as Operation Fanacht.

Over 100 checkpoints will remain on main routes, supported by a schedule of mobile checkpoints, and will be conducted on a daily basis with a focus on the new restrictions on inter-county travel. Static checkpoints will operate during off-peak hours, i.e. 10:00am to 4:00pm, and 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

The Gardaí also said that checks on licensed premises would step back up again, while community engagement activity will continue to focus on the vulnerable and isolated.

Speaking yesterday evening (Monday, November 30), Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “Throughout the pandemic there has been very good compliance by the public with the health advice and regulations. It is critical that this continues in Level 3.

“While people are able to undertake more activities and travel wider from December 1, we all need to remember that Covid-19 is still with us and we should act accordingly,” Commissioner Harris added.

We all must continue to play our part by heeding the public health advice. This is the best way of protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours.

Meanwhile, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said yesterday that less rural dwellers than urban dwellers feel that restrictions under Level 5 of the government’s Plan for Living with Covid-19 were ‘too extreme’.

The CSO published these findings in the ‘Social Impact of Covid-19 Survey November 2020: Well-being and Lifestyle under Level 5 Restrictions’ report.

Of those surveyed, over a fifth (22.2%) of respondents in urban areas thought that Level 5 restrictions were ‘too extreme’, compared with a tenth (10.9%) of those living in rural areas.

More than three quarters (77.6%) of those living in rural areas felt the measures were ‘appropriate’, compared with over two thirds (68.3%) of those in urban areas.