4,600 fines issued for breaches of Covid-19 regulations

4,600 fines issued for breaches of Covid-19 regulations

A recent garda checkpoint at Ovens, Co. Cork, during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

Gardaí have urged people to stay home this weekend and say that nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities will continue across the country in the coming days in support of public health regulations.

It comes as An Garda Síochána revealed it has issued approximately 4,600 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

Of these, 3,523 have related to non-essential travel including around 375 for non-essential journeys to airports/ports.

Gardai are advising the public that people traveling to an airport or port to take a holiday abroad are now liable for a €500 fine each for undertaking a non-essential journey and say “going on a holiday abroad is not essential travel.” 

They have also advised people engaged in cross-border travel that from 7am on Monday 8 February 2021 anyone not ordinarily resident in this State engaging in travel in this jurisdiction without a reasonable excuse may be liable to receive a fine of €100.

House parties and breaches of regulations at business premises 

Gardaí have also intervened with house parties right across the country with in excess of 300 fines issued for either organising or attending a house party.

They are reminding the public that the fine for organising a house party is €500 and attending a house party is €150.

In addition, gardaí can issue a fine of €500 for organising other relevant events in breach of public health regulations.

Over the last few days, An Garda Síochána said they have also attended breaches of health regulations by licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons amongst other business premises.

“In all instances, files will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” a spokesperson said.

Individuals due in court in Cork and four other counties 

People issued with a Covid-19 related fine have 28 days to pay the fine and An Garda Síochána has a process in place with the Courts Service where anyone who fails to pay their fine within 28 days will receive a court date shortly after.

While gardaí say it is a matter for the Court, they are reminding people that failure to pay the FPN can result in conviction for a first offence in the District Court in a fine of €1,000 and/or imprisonment.

At the moment, six people will be before District Courts in March 2021 for non-payment of a Covid-19 fine. 

The people will appear before District Courts in Cork, as well as Dubin, Meath, Waterford and Limerick.

'Covid-19 doesn't switch off' 

An Garda Síochána has also to date issued 94 fines for the non-wearing of face masks in certain locations with the vast majority of these – 70 – being in retail premises.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, "Despite the significant challenges and sacrifices, the vast majority of people continue to comply with the public health advice. We thank them for that and ask them to keep it up.

"However, there also continues to be a minority who are putting themselves, their loved ones, their friends, and their neighbours at risk of getting Covid-19 by not adhering to the regulations.

“Covid-19 doesn’t switch-off so that people can attend parties, or go on holidays, or gather in large groups.

“The message is clear and has been for some time – people should only make essential journeys, reduce their contacts, practice social distancing, and wash their hands. Please stay safe and keep others safe by staying home.”

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