Dublin Bus sees more passengers amid fears over greater public activity

Dublin Bus has notified the Government of an increase in passenger numbers this week as senior officials described the recent increase in public activity as a “cause for concern”.

At the Government’s morning Covid-19 briefing, assistant secretary general at the Department of Taoiseach Liz Canavan said the Government is aware of concerns that “people are becoming complacent” about coronavirus restrictions.

“Dublin Bus notified us yesterday evening of an increase in passenger numbers day on day this week and all days are above levels seen in previous weeks.

“They are engaging with the National Transport Authority to try and pinpoint more specific data on this for us. An Garda Siochana will also keep us updated on their view.”

Gardaí will again operate a large network of checkpoints across the country this weekend and urge people to stay home and stay safe.

“We will continue to monitor a range of indicators which allow us to understand the level of compliance with current restrictions. While movement alone does not mean that people are breaking social distancing rules when they are out, it is certainly a cause for concern,” Ms Canavan said.

Risk

“The more we move around, the more risk we create. Increased footfall means we are sharing spaces, using the same facilities, coming into contact with more shared surfaces, even if we are not there at the same time.”

On Thursday the Government said that there had been no notable increase in traffic on national roads on the basis of figures provided by Transport Infrastructure Ireland for earlier in the week.

Ms Canavan said work is underway to provide real time information on such movement. Later on Thursday evening the chief medical officer Tony Holohan said that there is in fact evidence of increased traffic and more people on the move.