Gardaí issue more than €1m in Covid fines for non-essential travel

More men have redceive Covid penalty fines while non-essential travel makes up the majority of public health breaches. 
Gardaí issue more than €1m in Covid fines for non-essential travel

Fines are more likely to be issued at the weekend. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Non-essential travel continues to make up the bulk of fines issued by gardaí for breach of public health guidelines with over €1m in penalties handed out for non-essential travel. 

As of March 4, gardaí have issued over 12,000 Covid fines across a range of issues including €902,100 in fines for non-essential travel, €222,500 in fines for non-essential travel to airports and ports, and €10,300 in fines for non-essential travel by persons who do not normally live in Ireland. 

In total, a breakdown of the fines issued for non-essential journeys shows: 

  • 9,021 €100 fines for non-essential travel 
  • 445 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports with the total number of €100 and €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports numbering 820
  • 103 €100 fines for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State

Updated figures for other fines linked to socialising include €185,000 in fines for organising house parties and €212,400 in fines for attending house parties. 

A breakdown of the Covid fines issued to date by the Gardaí. Picture: Gardaí

A breakdown of the Covid fines issued to date by the Gardaí. Picture: Gardaí

This equals 370 €500 penalties for organising a house party and 1,416 €150 penalties for attending a house party. 

By comparison, compliance with regulations to wear face coverings in public appears to be high with just 218 penalties of €80 given out. This equals €17,440 in total for not wearing face masks.

"Casual contacts remain high"

According to the latest figures released by the gardaí, Sunday is the most common day for a Covid fine to be issued by the gardaí, with men making up 75% of penalties issued to date compared with 25% of women. 

Urban areas like Cork City and Dublin City centre recorded the highest number of fines issued and 49% of all fines issued have been paid to date. 

In a statement this evening, the gardaí have reminded the public that anyone who does not pay a fine within a 28-day notice period will receive a Court date afterwards. 

This could result in imprisonment as well as a fine totalling €1,000. 

Gardaí have reminded the public ahead of this weekend to plan their activities to stay within the 5km limit of their homes, and that visibility patrols will be in place at public amenities while checkpoints are also to be in operation. 

Gardaí have said while recent surveys have shown that the majority of people believe that they are doing the right thing, "the reality is that the level of casual contacts remains high".

Commenting on the latest Covid penalty data was released, deputy commissioner of policing and security, Anne Marie McMahon said everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. 

"The vast majority of people are compiling with the public health regulations. In doing so, they have made major sacrifices. This effort has saved many lives. We thank them for that," she said. 

Gardaí have reminded people that travel restrictions do not apply to victims of domestic violence and that assistance is always available. 

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