PATROLS are now taking place around Loughmacrory Lough on a daily basis to ensure that coronavirus regulations and social distancing are being adhered to.
Health and safety measures have also been introduced in the area in response to concerns over large groups congregating and using the lough for swimming, particularly during the warm weather last weekend.
Alcohol is not permitted, access to jetties is now permitted for fishing permit holders only, no swimming or diving is allowed, a one-way system around the Lough is in place and the Lough Walk is being closed each night at 10pm.
Representatives from Loughmacrory Community Association, the local GAA and handball clubs have been monitoring the use of the lough on a rota basis during the past few days.
Sean Curran, chairman of the Loughmacrory Community Association, said large crowds visiting the area recently deemed it necessary to remind people of the regulations around gatherings and social distancing.
“This has been a difficult period for many of us, and indeed for young people who may not have seen their friends for upwards on three months. It’s entirely understandable that they are anxious to get out and mix, but we also have to be mindful of the need to be safe” he said.
“Our new regulations have been designed in response to the large numbers who were gathered at the lough during the recent spell of fine weather and were using the jetties as locations for diving and swimming.
“What we want to ensure is that appropriate caution is exercised around the water and that the proper social distancing regulations are also adhered to.”
The nearby outdoor handball alleys remain closed and the community association has thanked all those who have so far helped out with the rota, and the local community for keeping to the regulations.
Sinn Fein councillor, Padraigin Kelly, said that the situation had “calmed down” in recent days.
“The main problem was that social distancing was not happening at the weekend, so action needed to be taken and thankfully the message seems to been heeded.”
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