Irish holidaymakers still jetting off on vacation despite threat of prison and criminal record
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Irish holidaymakers still jetting off on vacation despite threat of prison and criminal record

PEOPLE in Ireland are still sneaking off on holiday despite strict travel restrictions being in place.

Gardaí have warned that anyone caught flouting the rules will be issued with a fine, and could even be sent to prison.

Current fines for breaching travel restrictions stands at €500, having previously been increased from €100 and then €200, but Cabinet is considering raising the fine to €2,000.

The threats don't seem to be deterring holidaymakers though, who consider the fines an acceptable part of the cost of their vacation.

As of February 12, gardaí have issued almost 5,000 fines for non-essential travel.

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They've been issuing fines to people prior to their trips abroad, and instructing them not to continue with their journey.

Gardaí have started formally instructing travellers in breach to comply with the law under powers given to them under Section 31(a) (7) of the Health Act 1947.

Anyone who fails to comply with these directions from the guards is committing a criminal offence and may be prosecuted, resulting in a criminal record if convicted.

The offence carries a prison sentence of up to one month and a €1,000 fine.

If they decide to continue with their travel plans, gardaí then warn them of the further criminal offence they would be committing and of the additional fine, prison terms and criminal record they may receive.

They say this has generally been enough to put people off their non-essential travel plans, though a small cohort of people seem unfazed and continue with their holidays.

According to the Irish Times, gardaí are waiting for a number of families to return from their travels to issue them with fines and a court summons.

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