Covid-19: Nearly 800 people fined for breaking 5km travel rule

Of those fined for breaching 5km limit, 87% were under the age of 45

Nearly 800 people have been fined over the last 10 days for travelling more than 5km from their homes, according to the Garda Síochána – the majority in Dublin and surrounding counties.

Up to last Thursday gardaí issued fines to 144 people in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, while 315 fines were issued in the east region. In the south 213 were given out, compared with just 99 in the northwest.

More than three-quarters of those penalised were men, while 87 per cent were aged under 45. Some 200 more fines are currently being processed by gardaí.

Some 300 fines for non-essential travel were issued last weekend alone. This weekend the public is reminded to obey the 5km limit, including for exercise.

Every person in a car found outside the legal boundary will be fined, gardaí warn, adding that they will continue a series of checkpoints and high-visibility patrols at public meeting spots throughout the weekend.

Some 30 fines have issued against people who have refused to wear masks in public places, including 26 who objected to doing so while they were shopping, according to the official data.

People are again advised that under Covid-19 rules they must wear a face mask in shops, and if they do not gardaí can take enforcement action once informed of an alleged breach.

"The vast majority of people are complying with the non-essential travel regulations," said Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, "However, there are still some people who are not compliant.

“These regulations are in place to protect public health. At a time when significant numbers of people are dying or seriously ill we all need to do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”

He said if people want to protect the health service and support doctors, nurses and other frontline workers “who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to tackle Covid-19, then they should stay home”.

“They should only make essential journeys, reduce their contacts, practice social distancing, and wash their hands.”