Gardai advise – ‘Stay at home and protect your loved ones’
People undertaking non-essential journeys are liable for a fine of €100 and since being introduced (January 11 2021), over 2,400 fines to date have been issued by Gardaí to people who left their homes without a reasonable excuse.
In addition, Gardaí can now issue people with a fine for organising a party in their house or for attending such a gathering. The fine for organising a house party is €500 and attending a house party is €150.
16 fines were issued yesterday to organisers and attendees at house parties in locations such as Limerick, Cork, Galway, and Kilkenny/Carlow.
As attending a party is non-essential travel – even if it is in your neighbour’s house – Gardaí also have the option of issuing the €100 non-essential travel fine to anyone going to or from a party.
In addition, Gardaí can issue a fine of €500 for organising other relevant events as per the public health regulations.
An Garda Síochána is continuing to conduct checkpoints on access roads to airports and ports to check on whether people travelling to these locations – in private vehicles or on bus services – are undertaking an essential journey. Travelling to an airport or port to take a holiday abroad is not an essential journey.
Nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities across the country will also continue this weekend in support of public health regulations.
As it did last weekend, An Garda Síochána is 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.
An Garda Síochána has also to date issued 63 fines for the non-wearing of face masks in certain locations with the vast majority of these – 50 – being in retail premises. People are advised that under public health regulations they must wear a face mask in retail premises. Under the regulations, An Garda Síochána can take enforcement action in relation to such matters once it has been informed of the alleged breach by a relevant authority i.e. the manager of a retail premises.
As it has throughout the pandemic, An Garda Síochána’s focus has been on keeping people safe by using the 4Es – engage, explain, encourage, and, only as a last resort, enforce.
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, “The vast majority of people are continuing to play their part in tackling the spread of COVID-19. They are staying home, only making essential journeys, and exercising within 5km of their homes. We appreciate the sacrifices they are making and we ask them to keep it up.
“However, there are still some people putting themselves their loved ones, their friends, and their neighbours at risk of getting COVID-19 by not adhering to the regulations. People are dying from COVID-19. People are seriously ill. Our brave doctors, nurses, medical staff and other front-line workers are putting their lives on the line to protect others. They need our support and they deserve our respect. The best way of doing this is to stay home.
“People should only make essential journeys, reduce their contacts, practice social distancing, and wash their hands. Please stay safe and keep others safe by staying home.”