ANYONE in Ireland found to be in breach of Covid-19 public health restrictions can expect a fine for their troubles as the Government attempts to crack down on rule-breakers.
It's understood that gardaí are to be handed fresh new powers to enforce these rules, with Ireland on the verge of moving to a Level Three restrictions status from midnight tonight.
On Monday, the Government rejected advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to move the entire nation to Level 5 - effectively a full national lockdown - and instead opted to impose the same restrictions on the whole country as have been in place in Co. Dublin over the past few weeks.
Despite this, in order to prevent the situation from worsening, the Irish Daily Mail are reporting that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is drawing up a graduated system of fines for people found breaching the latest Covid-19 regulations.
It's speculated that €20 fines could be handed out to those failing to wear a face mask in the appropriate setting, for example, but heftier fines are being planned for things like mass gatherings and those who fail to self-isolate when necessary.
Fines have been threatened in Ireland for those breaching public health regulations for some months now, but very rarely have these threats actually been carried out, but Minister Donnelly is looking to change that.
He reportedly plans to bring amendments to the 1947 Health Act which will allow many new laws to be properly enforced by gardaí.