Gardaí to start issuing €100 on-the-spot fines to anyone breaking Covid rules

Gardaí to start issuing €100 on-the-spot fines to anyone breaking Covid rules

GARDAI have released a warning to the public this week saying they will issue on-the-spot fines of up to €100 to anyone found to be in breach of Covid laws.

Starting this week, officers have been granted new powers to ensure people are adhering to the latest public health measures.

Gardaí can now prosecute breaches of travel restrictions with a Fixed Charge Notice, though they have admitted that they consider such fines to be a 'last resort'.

Under Ireland's Health Act, the law states that "an applicable person shall not leave his or her place residence without reasonable excuse."

Exercising within your 5km zone and going food shopping are deemed to be reasonable excuses, as is essential work-related travel, going to medical appointments, and visiting a person in your support bubble.

It's understood that gardaí will be ramping up their policing of beauty spots and areas where people might congregate.

Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, who oversees gardaí's 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 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 home, this is your duty as a citizen and will save lives and support our frontline services, nurses, doctors, hospital staff and my Garda colleagues at this time."

A Leitrim man was jailed for two months recently for breaching restrictions without a reasonable excuse, a man from Dublin was jailed for 30 days and a Tipperary man was given a €400 fine for the same offence.