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Pockets hit Gardai issue 1,500 fines for non-essential travel in two weeks

Unfortunately, there are still some people who are putting themselves, their loved ones and everyone they come into contact with at risk of getting Covid-19 by not complying with public health regulations"

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Covid-19 checkpoints on O'Connell St in Dublin

Covid-19 checkpoints on O'Connell St in Dublin

Covid-19 checkpoints on O'Connell St in Dublin

Gardai have issued approximately 1,500 fines for non-essential travel in the past two weeks.

An Garda Síochána started fining people for leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse on January 11, and as of January 24, 909 fines have been processed and an additional 645 are currently being processed.

The penalties were brought in along with the return of checkpoints first seen in March 2020’s lockdown. Gardaí have also been performing high visibility patrols at public places across the country to support current public health guidelines.

Despite the large number of fines issued so far, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey thanked most of the public for their cooperation.

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Garda checkpoint on the N13 at Bridge End in Co. Donegal close to the UK border not far from Derry City (Liam McBurney/PA)

Garda checkpoint on the N13 at Bridge End in Co. Donegal close to the UK border not far from Derry City (Liam McBurney/PA)

Garda checkpoint on the N13 at Bridge End in Co. Donegal close to the UK border not far from Derry City (Liam McBurney/PA)

“The vast majority of people are complying with the non-essential travel regulations. We thank them for that,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there are still some people who are putting themselves, their loved ones and everyone they come into contact with at risk of getting Covid-19 by not complying with public health regulations.”

He went on to discuss the grave implications, saying: “There are people dying and are seriously ill from Covid-19.”

“Our health service and all who work in it are under serious pressure,” he said. “People need to adhere to the public health regulations to help save lives and reduce that pressure.”

"Please keep yourself and others safe by staying home. Only make essential journeys. Limit your contacts. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands.”

Gardai are also reminding people that they are only permitted to exercise within a maximum of 5km from their home. This 5km includes the distance a person will travel from their home to the location they choose to exercise.

“In other words, you can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise,” they said.

Additionally, they want for the public to know that drivers found to break non-essential travel rules may not be the only ones fined. Their adult passengers can be fined as well.

This also goes for adults who take part in activities like cycling or walking - every single adult who is in a group like that could technically be fined.

Finally, An Garda Siochana reiterated that travel to the airports and ports should only be for essential reasons, and that holidays are not deemed as essential.

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