Gardaí have given details of drivers penalised for breaching their 5km limit this week, including a carload of people who trekked 80km to Dublin 4 from Co. Meath for burgers.
The Garda Press Office said 29 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN)have been issued for breaches of the 5km rule in recent days and warned that checkpoints will be in place across the country in the coming days to ensure people stick to their local limits and to protect frontline workers amid spiralling Covid-19 figures.
Gardaí said that at a checkpoint at Sean Moore Road in Ringsend the driver of a vehicle stopped by officers said that he and two passengers had travelled from Co. Meath to collect ‘burgers’ from a takeaway restaurant in Dublin 4. All three were around 80km from home and received a FPN.
At a checkpoint in Midleton in Co. Cork a female driver was requested to return home but was later observed at a beach amenity outside the 5km limit. She acknowledged she was breaching Covid regulations and offered no further reasonable excuse.
At a checkpoint outside Cork City a man and a woman, not from the same household, were stopped while driving and claimed to be travelling to visit an elderly relative.
On completion of their checkpoint duties a few minutes later officers patrolled a local amenity carpark and found the same driver, who had not travelled to visit an elderly relative, had no reasonable excuse and was outside the 5km limit for physical exercise. Both people were issued with FPNs.
Two cyclists stopped near Carrick, Galway, were 19km from home and in another county when they were stopped, while in north Co. Dublin four people were seen leaving the rear of a gym.
Further examination included speaking with two gym instructors who claimed to be working from the gym as they had no internet at home to conduct online sessions. Gardaí said a total of six FPNs were issued as a result.
Where breaches of the travel regulations are detected and a person does not comply with a direction of An Garda Síochána, a prosecution can be started by means of a €100 Fixed Payment Notice and gardaí can also seek a direction from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions if deemed appropriate.
Last weekend, Wicklow Gardaí issued more than 50 Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) for illegal parking and dangerous parking near amenities in the area and Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said people needed to adhere to regulations.
"Our health service is under pressure. Deaths from Covid-19 are rising," he said.
"ICU admissions are increasing. The best way for people to protect and honour frontline workers is to stay at home. The best way for people to protect their loved ones, their neighbours, and their communities is to stay at home."