“All adults in a car found to be undertaking a non-essential journey may be liable for a €100 fine each”

5 March 2021
By Mary Bermingham
mary@TheCork.ie

In advance of the weekend Gardai are warning that they will be continuing high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend. Illegal parking can result in cars being towed and impounded. All adults in a car found to be undertaking a non-essential journey may be liable for a €100 fine each

To date, An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 12,000 Covid-19 fines across the range of all COVID-19 breaches.

As of close of business yesterday (March 4 2021), the following number of fines had been issued:

– 9,021 €100 fines for non-essential travel
– 445 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports – the total number of €100 and €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports is 820
– 370 €500 fines for organising a house party and 1,416 €150 fines for attending a house party
– 218 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering
– 103 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State

Further data on COVID-19 fines include age, gender, and divisional breakdown is available on www.Garda.ie

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. Recent surveys have shown that the majority of people believe that they are doing the right thing, but the reality is that the level of casual contacts remains high.

An Garda Síochána will be continuing nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations.

An Garda Síochána is again advising the public of the need to plan their activities over the weekend to take account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home. People are reminded that the 5km limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise. In other words, you can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise.

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.

When visiting amenities within 5km of your home please park legally. Illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. As we saw during previous weekends, people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.
In enforcing these regulations, Gardaí have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.

An Garda Síochána continues to remind persons subject to domestic violence – Travel restrictions do not apply in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.

An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to any person who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been on breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party, An Garda Síochána is here to assist and support you, please report all such incidents.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said, “The vast majority of people are compiling with the public health regulations. In doing so, they have made major sacrifices. This effort has saved many lives. We thank them for that.

“To continue to save lives and eventually return to some level of normality we need to further reduce the numbers of people getting COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in this. Everyone has a responsibility to themselves, those they love, and those they come into contact with to adhere to the public health advice.

“The best way of keeping safe this weekend is to stay home. If you are going out, please stay within your 5km, limit your contacts with others, maintain social distancing, and regularly wash your hands.”

Facts & Figures

The total number of fines issued as of close of business yesterday (March 4 2021) is made up of 11,607 fines that have been processed and approximately 340 that are currently being checked and processed.

The €100 fine for anyone not ordinarily resident in this State engaging in travel in this jurisdiction without a reasonable excuse came into effect on Monday 8 February 2021.

The number of fines issued per Division will vary depending on a number of factors including population size, the geographic area covered, local economy, travel patterns, and the public amenities in a particular Division.

A person who receives a fine can request an appeal. A COVID-19 FPN Cancellation Request Form and guidance notes are available on our website at www.garda.ie.

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

Anyone who fails to pay their fine within 28 days will receive a Court date shortly after. It is a matter for the Court, but 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. Courts are also open to reporting by local and national media.

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