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An Garda Síochána –This Weekend Stay Safe, Stay Home. 12th February, 2021.

Issue Date: 12/02/2021

An Garda Síochána has now issued approximately 6,550 fines across a range of COVID-19 breaches.

As of close of business yesterday (February 11 2021), the following number of fines had been issued:

- 4,911 €100 fines for non-essential travel - 132 €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 in excess of 500 - 116 €500 fines for organising a house party and 498 €150 fines for attending a house party - 127 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering

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

Fines for non-essential cross-border travel in this jurisdiction came into operation on Monday morning, February 8 2021.

For the first three days of this week, TII data shows that traffic volumes in and around the border was down approximately 13 per cent compared to the average last week.

In enforcing this regulation, Gardaí have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.

The number of fines for cross-border travel to date is currently being collated and will be published in due course.

Over the last few days, An Garda Síochána have also attended breaches of health regulations by licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons amongst other business premises. In all instances, files will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Following consultation with the DPP, three prosecutions are being taken against retail premises. A further 95 prosecutions of licensed premises have been directed with 44 of these having court dates.

An Garda Síochána continue to investigate potential breaches of public Health Regulations associated with funerals (currently maximum 10 mourners) and weddings (currently maximum 6 attendees at wedding reception).

An Garda Síochána is here to support victims of crime particularly Domestic Abuse and/ or sexual based crime.

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.

If you 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, John Twomey said, "The vast majority of people are doing the right things. They are staying home. Making only essential journeys. Limiting their contacts. We know it is hard. We know it has meant huge sacrifices. We thank them for this and ask people to continue to do the right things.

"Unfortunately, there are still people in this society who are prepared to put themselves, their families, their friends and their colleagues at risk of getting COVID-19. Everybody in this society has an individual and collective responsibility to play their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Everybody in this society has an individual and collective responsibility to play their part in saving lives and reducing serious illness. It is long past time for those who are not playing their part to do so,” said Deputy Commissioner Twomey.

This Weekend

Nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country will also continue 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.

Non-Payment of Fines

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

An Garda Síochána has a process in place with the Courts Service where 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.

At the moment, six people will be before District Courts in March 2021 for non-payment of a COVID-19 fine. The people will appear before District Courts in Dublin (2), Cork, Meath, Waterford and Limerick.