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Update – More than 3,500 fines issued for breaches of Covid-19 Public Health regulations 1st February 2021

Issue Date: 01/02/2021

An Garda Síochána continues to implement static and roving checkpoints to check on compliance with travel restrictions. Everybody is asked to stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse for travel - in excess of 2,100 fines have now been issued for travel without a reasonable excuse.

In addition, over the weekend Gardaí intervened with house parties right across the country including in Dublin, Sligo, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Limerick, Cork, Tipperary, with in excess of 150 fines issued for either organising or attending a house party. This included some house parties with large groups of up to 30 people at each party.

An Garda Síochána continues to check international travel at airports and ports. This includes checks surrounding airports and ports and in departure areas. • Over the period Thursday 29 – Sunday 31 January 2021, Gardaí issued over 280 fines at Dublin Airport to people for leaving the country for non-essential travel - €100 fines issued in each case. From today, the same offence can result in a €500 fine being issued to individuals. • Since 9 January 2021, Gardaí have engaged with in excess of 300 persons arriving into the country with no valid PCR test -  4 persons presented without a valid PCR test on Sunday 31st January 2021- files will be forwarded  to the Director of Public Prosecutions in each case

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.

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).

In respect of regulations, which are declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána will adopt the approach of the Four Es which will see Gardaí engage, explain, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce.   Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, "The vast majority of people continue to comply with the public health regulations. In doing so, they are protecting themselves and others. However, some people continue to engage in behaviour that puts themselves, their loved ones, their colleagues and their neighbours at risk of catching COVID-19. At this stage, no-one can say they aren’t fully aware of the public health advice and the potential dangers - including death and serious illness – of not following that advice.

"People need to stay home. Only make essential journeys. Limit social contacts. Practice social distancing and wash their hands,” said Deputy Twomey.

As of today Monday 01 February 2021 the following fines can now be issued: • €500 fine for a person engaged in travel to an airport/ port for the purpose of leaving the state without a reasonable excuse • €500 fine for a person organising a house party (previously in place) • €150 fine for a person found attending house parties (previously in place) • €100 fine for a person engaged in travel without reasonable excuse (previously in place) • €80 fine for not wearing face coverings in in certain locations (previously in place)