Under Operation Navigation, An Garda Síochána has continued to find widespread compliance by licensed premises with the public health regulations.
From 19:00 on Friday, July 3 to 23:59 Sunday, July 12, An Garda Síochána has conducted thousands of checks on licensed premises throughout the country under Operation Navigation to support public health guidelines.
To date, the vast majority of licensed premises operating have been found to be in compliance with regulations and licensing laws, but in 37 individual cases (including the 26 potential breaches found during the weekend of July 3 to July 5) – Gardaí have found potential breaches of the health regulations or licensing laws even after providing the premises with the opportunity to rectify the situation. Files will now be prepared for the DPP in each of these cases.
In all these cases, Gardaí found customers consuming alcohol, but no evidence of food also being consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold.
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, "The continued high level of compliance among licensed premises is very welcome. However, there remains a minority who are putting their employees, their customers and their local community at risk of getting COVID-19.
"Customers of such licensed premises also have a responsibility to play their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 to protect their family, friends and neighbours.”
Operation Navigation will continue next weekend.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020 are currently in effect until the 20th July 2020, which set out certain penal provisions. Social distancing and other similar public health guidelines are not penal provisions.
In addition, under liquor licensing laws, a licensed premises requires a declaration of suitability from a member of An Garda Síochána in order for its liquor license to be renewed.
Under Operation Navigation an operational order was issued to all local Garda managers that licensed premises in their area operating at the moment were to be checked for adherence to The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020.
In conducting these visits, An Garda Síochána continued its graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
Where potential breaches of the Public Health Regulations are identified, and where a person does not come into compliance with the regulations, a file is submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a direction as to how to proceed.