Leo Varadkar says gardaí will be placed on Irish border from Boxing Day
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Leo Varadkar says gardaí will be placed on Irish border from Boxing Day

LEO VARADKAR has confirmed there will be a garda presence on county borders, as well as Ireland's border with the North, from St. Stephen's Day.

The move is to ensure travel restrictions - which will come into effect on December 26 - are followed by the public.

On Tuesday, the Government announced that inter-county travel won't be permitted from Boxing Day, and that the travel ban from the UK will be extended to December 31.

Because of this, gardaí will be needed to make sure the rules are being followed.

Speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time yesterday evening, Tánaiste Varadkar spoke about the possibility of people circumventing the UK travel ban by travelling to Belfast and making their way south.

Asked if there would be road blocks at the border to stop this from happening, Varadkar said: "I wouldn't say roadblocks, but there will be a police presence and the Taoiseach will be speaking to the Garda Commissioner about that."

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Asked whether there will be gardaí on the M1 motorway, Varadkar replied: "There will, there will be a garda presence between counties because we'll be going back to a system that says on the 26th you're supposed to stay in your county except for essential reasons."

From Christmas, Ireland will be effectively heading back into lockdown, with travel restrictions running until January 12.

The UK travel ban will remain in place until December 31, but will be reviewed before New Year's Eve and could be extended.

The ban was put in place in the wake of the new strain of Covid-19 currently ripping through London and the south-east of England.

There are concerns that Northern Ireland has become a "funnel" in the past few days for those desperately trying to get into the Republic following news of the travel ban.