Since yesterday Monday, 11th January 2021 members of An Garda Síochána can prosecute breaches of Travel Restrictions under Covid-19 Regulations by means of Fixed Charge Notice.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020 in accordance with the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act, 2020 are currently in force. Regulation 4 states ‘an applicable person shall not leave his or her place of residence without reasonable excuse’. This is a Penal Regulation and is enforceable.
An Garda Síochána has been consistent in our graduated policing response to supporting Public Health Regulations and guidelines in line with our tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Garda members engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
From Monday, where breaches of the travel regulations are detected and a person does not comply with a direction of An Garda Síochána, a prosecution now can be commenced by means of a €100 Fixed Charge Notice. Where more appropriate, An Garda Síochána may seek a direction from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, Policing and Security said, “An Garda Síochána continues to see significant compliance by the public with Public Health Regulations, however we also continue to see some activity which is in contravention of these regulations introduced to stop the current spread of Covid-19 and protect our communities. I appeal to every person without a reasonable excuse for travel – Stay at Home, this is your duty as a citizen and will save lives and support our front line services, nurses, doctors, hospital staff and my Garda colleagues at this time.”
The COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.
As highlighted by An Garda Síochána some court outcomes of previous Garda enforcement activity are highlighted below:
• Co. Cavan, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €150 fine
• Co. Kildare, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €250 fine following appeal
• Co. Sligo, 2 Males found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, Both €300 fine
• Co Dublin, Male in breach of Covid Regulations directed to return home, observed still in breach of regulations at same location 2 hours later, €350 fine
• Co. Tipperary, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €400 fine
• Co. Dublin, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, 30 days imprisonment
• Co. Leitrim, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, 2 months Imprisonment