€100 fine for cross-Border travel from North now in effect

New rules mean gardaí can turn back non-essential travellers from NI who cross Border

The Border crossing-point from Louth as through the southern most tip of Co Armagh. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The Border crossing-point from Louth as through the southern most tip of Co Armagh. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

People living in Northern Ireland who cross the Border without a reasonable excuse face a €100 fine from today.

The new measures apply to anyone who is “not ordinarily resident” in the Republic of Ireland.

The checks began at 7am on Monday morning and the fines apply to people resident in the North but who have crossed into the Republic without having an essential reason for doing so. Residents of the Republic travelling to the North for non-essential reasons meanwhile continue to run the risk of the on-the-spot fines that have been in place for the past four weeks to ensure people do not travel farther than 5km from their homes.

If gardaí stop a car with a driver and two passengers then each of the three adults will receive a fine of €100.

The new rules mean the Garda can turn back day trippers from Northern Ireland who cross the Border.

Under the State’s current Covid-19 public health restrictions, travel is restricted to within 5km of a person’s home except for essential reasons.

Around 4,600 people have been fined for breaching Covid-19 regulations in Ireland.

Of the 4,600 fines issued by gardaí for a wide variety of Covid-19 rule breaches, some 375 related to people travelling to or from Dublin Airport for the purposes of foreign holidays or other non-essential trips abroad since January 29th. People travelling to an airport or port to take a holiday abroad are liable for a €500 fine for undertaking a non-essential journey.

Some 301 people have been sanctioned for organising or attending house parties, with fines of €500 and €150 respectively, since the house party fines were introduced late last month.

To date six people who were fined for Covid-19 breaches have not paid the fine within the 28-day window and have now been summoned to appear before the courts next month in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Waterford and Limerick.

Garda sources said that number was expected to grow and that a “steady stream” of such cases would soon arise, with fines of €1,000 and a term of imprisonment upon conviction.

Garda Headquarters reminded anyone who was fined that if they did not pay within 28 days and were brought to court, those hearings were “open to reporting by local and national media”. – Additional reporting PA