Fines to be handed out to anyone caught breaking 5km travel limit under new Level 5 restrictions

Fines to be handed out to anyone caught breaking 5km travel limit under new Level 5 restrictions

ANYONE found breaching the new 5km travel limit could face being handed a hefty fine for their trouble.

The Government is currently discussing the possibility of a penalty system to help enforce Level Five restrictions, and is expected to approve one for travel limit breaches and for anyone caught not wearing a face mask in specific settings.

The legislation will reportedly be given priority status and could come before the Dáil as early as this week.

Level Five restrictions are to be implemented nationwide from midnight on Wednesday, following last night's announcement.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that Ireland would remain at Level Five for six weeks, though there would be a review of the situation after four weeks.

He stressed that if people "pulled together over the next six weeks we will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way".

Under Level Five, mixing of households and social gatherings are banned, and people must only travel to and from their home for absolutely essential reasons such as food shopping, providing necessary care for others or travelling to work if you cannot work from home.

Only essential retail outlets will remain open during Level Five, while pubs and restaurants will operate on a takeaway basis only.

Schools will remain open under the new rules, despite the Government's Level Five plan initially stating that they would be closed.

Speaking about keeping schools open, Mr Martin said: "This is necessary because we cannot and will not allow our children and young people's futures to be another victim of this disease. They need their education.

"The fact that we have been able to open our schools and keep them open is because of the extraordinary efforts of our administrators, principals, teachers, Special Needs Assistants, parents, childcare providers, cleaners, caretakers, and entire school communities. They too are on the frontline in this crisis and they deserve the gratitude of the entire nation."