Restrictions on movement to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland may not apply to day trippers from Northern Ireland.
According to RTÉ News, Gardaí (Irish police) in the border region have been ordered not to arrest anyone from Northern Ireland for suspected breaches of the Covid-19 regulations.
It is thought this is due to a gap in government emergency legislation.
Gardaí have urged visitors to adhere to the public health guidelines.
Senior officers have been informed they have no powers of enforcement over people who do not live in the Republic due to a gap in regulations.
The issue came to light when an officer serving in the border area noticed that people from Northern Ireland do not live in a geographical location to which Irish law can apply and sought clarification from Garda Headquarters.
The regulations state that the restrictions on movement apply to people “whose place of residence is located within a relevant geographical location” and that a place of residence means “a person’s home”.
In a statement An Garda Síochána said they did not comment on legal advice received on specific issues nor on consultation with government departments on relevant legislation.
“In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent,” the force said.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
“This has seen Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
“An Garda Síochána has used in the last couple of weeks a wide range of laws available to it. For example, long-standing legislation for offences such as public order, assault, road traffic, and drugs.
“It remains the case that anyone visiting the state even temporarily is amenable to such criminal laws of this state during their time here.”
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe