Gardaí have issued over 20,000 fines for Covid-19 restriction breaches

Most fines relate to non-essential travel outside of designated distance

An Garda Síochána said that all occupants of a  car taking a non-essential journey would be fined. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

An Garda Síochána said that all occupants of a car taking a non-essential journey would be fined. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

 

The Garda has issued its 20,000th fine for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations, including 3,500 fines handed out for organising or attending house parties.

Last weekend, 415 fines were handed out for a variety of Covid-related offences, according to the latest data available, bringing the total to 20,280.

The vast majority of fines relate to non-essential travel. Just over 14,600 people have received €100 fines for travelling beyond the designated distance for non-essential reasons.

Since Monday, people have been able to travel within their own county or up to 20km for exercise, up from the previous 5km limit.

Gardaí have also handed out 1,186 fines of €500 for non-essential travel to airports or ports and 341 fines of €80 for not wearing a face covering in shops or on public transport.

There have also been 407 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by people who do not ordinarily live in Ireland. This mainly relates to people travelling south from Northern Ireland.

Seven hundred and eighteen fines of €500 have been handed out for organising house parties. Another 2,855 people have been fined €150 for attending parties.

Announcing the latest figures on Friday, the Garda warned that all adults found in a car undertaking a non-essential journey are liable to be fined, not just the driver.

It said it will continue the operation of checkpoints and patrols across the country this weekend to ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

“An Garda Síochána continues to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings, exercise etc.) in breach of regulations.

“These are not just breaches of regulations, but are a risk to the individuals involved, their families and loved ones, and continue to put everybody’s health and the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic at risk.”

Deputy Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon said that “thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the vast majority of people”, key Covid-19 indicators are beginning to improve.

“It is important now that we continue to do the right things. We need to maintain social distancing, limit our contacts, and regularly wash our hands.”