Airport travellers without valid excuse face €500 fine

by Gazette Reporter
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Gardai have warned that anyone leaving the country for non-essential travel can now be fined €500 for breaching Covid-19 measures.

Some 280 people were fined at the airport in the last three days of January, with each handed a penalty of €100. However from February 2 stiffer penalties apply.

Gardai revealed that since 9 January, over 300 people have arrived into Ireland without a valid PCR test, including four on Sunday. Gardaí are sending files to the Director of Public Prosecutions in each case.

In all more than 3,500 fines have been issued in total for breaches of Covid-19 regulations, with 2,100 fines for travelling without a reasonable excuse.

In the last days of January, Gardaí attended to breaches by licensed premises, restaurants, retail outlets, hair and beauty salons, and other businesses.

Gardaí are also investigating breaches associated with funerals and weddings, which are only allowed a maximum of ten and six in attendance respectively under the current restrictions.

Deputy Commissioner of Policing and Security John Twomey said that the vast majority of the public are following health regulations.

“In doing so, they are protecting themselves and others,” Twomey said. “However, some people continue to engage in behaviour that puts themselves, their loved ones, their colleagues and their neighbours at risk of catching Covid-19,” he said.

“At this stage, no-one can say they aren’t fully aware of the public health advice and the potential dangers – including death and serious illness – of not following that advice.

“People need to stay home. Only make essential journeys. Limit social contacts. Practice social distancing and wash their hands.” From February 2,, travelling to an airport to leave the country without a valid reason has been made a specific offence. Gardaí will be able to fine people in breach of the restriction by €500.

The offence was introduced under the provisions of the emergency Covid-19 measures passed in the Dáil last year.

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