Anyone found crossing Irish border for 'non-essential' reason will be fined from today

Anyone found crossing Irish border for 'non-essential' reason will be fined from today

PEOPLE crossing the Irish border without an 'essential' reason to do so will be issued with fines of €100 from today.

The new measure has come into effect in order to try and stamp out unnecessary travel between the North and the Republic, and suppress the spread of Covid-19.

'Essential' reasons include things like travelling to work, travelling to school, travelling to provide care, essential shopping and buying/picking up medicine.

It's understood that every adult in a car found to be travelling over the border without an essential reason to do so will receive a fine, not just the driver.

According to statistics, over 3,500 people in Ireland have been fined for non-essential travel in Ireland.

Damien McGinnity, of Border Communities Against Brexit, says that rules like this are necessary because of a lack of cross-border cooperation between the two nations ever since the pandemic began.

"We think it's a bit ridiculous that political leaders can't get together and agree a strategy to test and quarantine everyone coming onto the island," he said.

"We have over 5,000 deaths on this island. New Zealand have 25 dead. There's just no comparison."

There are concerns that people travelling to Ireland from England, Scotland or Wales might travel to Northern Ireland and then drive south across the border to avoid the new mandatory quarantine rules, which are due to be operational by mid-February.

According to figures from the Department of Transport, the majority of passengers travelling through Dublin Airport did not have an essential reason for their journey.

Over 100,000 people arrived in Ireland through Dublin Airport in January alone.