Gardaí issue 6,550 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations

Gardaí issue 6,550 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations

Gardaí are once again advising the public to plan their activities this weekend as nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country will continue in support of public health regulations.

GARDAÍ are once again advising the public to plan their activities this weekend as nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country will continue in support of public health regulations.

It comes as An Garda Síochána revealed it has issued approximately 6,550 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

Of these, 4,911 have related to non-essential travel including in excess of 500 for non-essential journeys to airports/ports.

Gardai are advising the public that people travelling 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.” Gardaí have also intervened with house parties right across the country with in excess of 600 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. Gardaí have also issued 127 fines of €80 each for people not wearing a face covering.

People are also reminded that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home and the 5km limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise.

Gardaí are also re-emphasising the message that the public should also be aware that if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations that not only can the driver be fined, but their adult passengers as well. This is also the case for adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking, every adult in such a group can be fined.

Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said: "The vast majority of people are doing the right things. They are staying home. Making only essential journeys. Limiting their contacts. We thank them for this and ask people to continue to do the right things.

"Unfortunately, there are still people in this society who are prepared to put themselves, their families, their friends, and their colleagues at risk of getting Covid-19. 

"Everybody in this society has an individual and collective responsibility to play their part in reducing the spread of Covid-19. 

"It is long past time for those who are not playing their part to do so,” said Deputy Commissioner Twomey.

Over the last few days, An Garda Síochána said they have 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.

Following consultation with the DPP, three prosecutions are being taken against retail premises. A further 95 prosecutions of licensed premises have been directed with 44 of these having court dates.

People issued with a Covid-19 related fine have 28 days to pay the fine.

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.

Failure to pay the FPN can result in a 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, Dublin (2), Meath, Waterford and Limerick.

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