‘Asking people not to visit our wonderful county runs contrary to every fibre of our being’

Arriving in style: Fiona Carroll, one of the many volunteers from Legion GAA Club in Killarney, calling with the weekly shopping to Denis Tangney. The voluntary service is part of the Covid-19 Kerry Community Response Forum which includes organisations such as Kerry County Council, Gardaí and GAA clubs. Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

KERRY County Council has issued an unprecedented appeal to people not to travel to the county over the Easter weekend and to postpone any planned visit for the duration of the current Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Council Chief Executive, Moira Murrell, issued the request to those that night be contemplating travel to the county over the bank holiday weekend amid reports of people from outside Kerry visiting holiday homes in the county.

“Asking people not to visit our wonderful county runs contrary to every fibre of our being in Kerry. Tourism is the backbone of our economy,” Ms Murrell acknowledged.

Kerry County Council CEO Moira Murrell: Asking people to observe the instructions

But, she added: “We are aware of reports of people travelling to the county to holiday homes in recent days. This is not acceptable and it is a breach of the very clear and strong guidelines issued by the National Public Health Emergency Team”.

The council chief said the current pandemic is a once-in-a-century public health emergency requiring everyone to play their part in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“It is unprecedented that we would call on people not to travel to Kerry but when the current public health emergency is over, we will be ready to welcome visitors back to the county from all over the country and all over the world.

“Until then, we are asking people to observe the instructions and to stay at home,” the CEO remarked.

Meanwhile, following consultations with An Garda Síochána, and in the interests of limiting the spread of the coronavirus, Kerry County Council will close all public car parks at beaches around the county for the Easter weekend.

The main Tralee by-pass road was very quiet leading into the bank holiday weekend.

The decision follows the issuing of clear national public health advice that members of the public should not visit or congregate in public places – such as beaches – apart from individuals or householders who are resident within two kilometres of the beach.

Council personnel will be present at the car parks to monitor the closures over the weekend and will liaise with gardaí to ensure compliance.

Council CEO, Moira Murrell, remarked: “The clear advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team is that members of the public should not travel to or congregate anywhere which poses a risk to public health.”

She added: “This decision is to ensure that people do not breach the current guidelines and to ensure that the sustained effort to flatten the curve continues”.

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