Authorities Appeal to Public to not Visit 40 Foot Bathing Area on Christmas Day & St. Stephen's Day
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Gardaí, and HSE issue joint statement on potential spread risk of COVID-19 at traditional public gatherings.
Winter swimming, and especially the long-standing tradition of the Christmas Day swim, have become increasingly popular in recent years in our area, with very large numbers of people of all ages gathering at bathing locations along our coastline on Christmas Day.
However, this coming Christmas Day & St. Stephen’s Day, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, An Garda Síochána, and the HSE are appealing to everybody to please refrain from visiting bathing areas and specifically the 40 Foot, Sandycove, and Seapoint. It is only for this year and is being advised in the spirit of ensuring the safety of all our families and friends.
Figures in recent days from the Department of Health have shown undoubtedly that COVID-19 is still very much among us. Infection rates are rising. Public health advice from the Government is to very significantly limit our interactions with others over the Christmas break.
We all want to avoid the potential for a large COVID-19 outbreak at the start of the New Year, whether in our own area or elsewhere. A surge in cases will by the very nature of this pandemic put a huge burden on our health system. This will affect not only those who have COVID-19 and need treatment, but also those who need urgent or scheduled medical treatment unrelated to COVID-19.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, An Garda Síochána, and the HSE are keenly aware that this is a very significant request being asked of people. We would not be asking this if we did not consider that a large gathering would create a potential risk to public health and the spread of COVID-19. Personal responsibility has been a significant part of our armoury in the fight against COVID-19 and we urge you to exercise it now and to avoid creating a crowded environment over Christmas at these traditional locations.
We are appealing to the public to consider their wider communities and to please refrain from visiting these bathing areas this Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown has many fine public spaces and so for this year please consider visiting one of the many parks across the county and look forward to a swim on another day over the festive period.
Philomena Poole, Chief Executive, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Chief Superintendent Matthew Nyland, An Garda Síochána
Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Head of Service, Health & Well Being, Health Service Executive