Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has urged the thousands of people with holiday homes in coastal parts of the county not to travel to Clare over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Deputy Carey spoke out as extra powers were given to gardai to enforce the restrictions on anyone who is found to be in breach of the Covid-19 public health regulations.
It follows reports locally that extra visitors were observed at popular holiday spots in the west and north of the county in recent days.
Deputy Carey said: “We love having visitors to Clare, you won’t receive a better welcome anywhere else and the tourism industry is an economic lifeline for many parts of the county.
“However, we are living in extraordinary times, and we must do absolutely everything within our power to stop the spread of Covid-19 and to ease the huge pressure on our hospitals and frontline workers.
“Gardai will be out in force between now and the bank holiday weekend to ensure people are obeying the restrictions but I am urging everyone with mobile homes, caravans and second homes here not to travel to Clare until this emergency has passed.
“Senior local officers have confirmed to me that a major operation will be in place over the coming days with a series of static checkpoints set up across the county.
“We are doing everything we can do protect our communities from the virus. We cannot have a situation where people are coming from outside into the community in breach of the restrictions who may be asymptomatic with Covid-19 and spread the infection without realising it.
“I know this is difficult for many people but common sense must prevail: there is too much at stake.”
Deputy Carey reminded people that gardai now have the power to arrest and detain anyone found to be in breach of the restrictions, which includes anyone found exercising beyond 2km from their homes or those travelling for non-essential reasons.