Tighter curbs on movement as Covid continues rampage across the country

Huge spike in cases and deaths



Sligo News File

A sweeping clampdown on the movement of people looks imminent as the government seems to believe the only way to control the spread of the Covid-19 is to confine people to their homes.

Schools are to be closed, building sites shut down, many businesses forced to cease regular trading as well as restrictions on travellers arriving in Ireland – the measures to apply throughout this month. A curfew may, too, be on the cards at some point.

GAA authorities have meanwhile informed clubs that no collective training is allowed during January and reportedly warned that breaches of the instruction could result in suspension or expulsion.

It is no secret that the virus is out of control and may also have along as its mate, the more aggressive mutant strain of the disease that has UK health authorities in a near state of panic. The toll of 5,325 cases and 17 deaths, with cases and deaths rising daily, points up the gravity of the threat facing the country here.

Already, locally, Sligo County Council has taken the initiative to ban access to a number of public amenities. A statement from the council says the authority is “working with An Garda Siochana” to block public entry to beaches at Rosses point, Cullenamore, Mullaghmore, Streedagh and Enniscrone. This is to prevent large numbers of persons from congregating in the various amenities. Other Sligo places ruled out of bounds to the public include Half-Moon Bay in Hazelwood, Dooney Rock, Slish Wood, Union Wood, the Benbulben scenic walk at Gortarowey, Mitchell Curley Park and Strandhill Promenade.

On RTE’s Prime Time this evening, Niall Collins, a minister of State said a ban on the click and collect business service  was “about shutting down the movement and mobility of people.” Where at all possible, he said, people should avoid leaving home – an indication of the seriousness with which the rapidly spreading pandemic is being viewed by government