Gardaí are increasing the number of checkpoints in place across the country this weekend with an enhanced focus on crime prevention and detection.

An Garda Síochána's new "high visibility", nationwide policing plan is also focusing on support for the vulnerable.

The plan, which is in effect until midnight tomorrow, is in support of public health guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

It will supplement the work being done under Operation Fanacht and Operation Navigation, which both continue this weekend.

Crime prevention patrols will be increased nationwide, particularly at locations such as public amenities, parks, and natural beauty spots.

As has been the case throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, community gardaí will work with individuals, community groups, statutory agencies, charities and local businesses to provide a range of services to assist and protect the most vulnerable.

Garda members will also continue to engage with people to ensure compliance with public health guidelines and regulations through the "4Es" approach of engage, educate and encourage, and only where provided for and as a last resort, enforcement.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: "Since the start of the pandemic, Garda members throughout the country have being helping the vulnerable and those who feel isolated.

"This involved simple, but important tasks such as collecting their prescription, delivering their pension, or even socially distanced contact.

"If people need such assistance, or know someone who does, please contact your local Garda station. We are here to help."