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Stay home Increased fines for non-essential travel and mandatory hotel quarantines to be discussed in Cabinet

People going on holidays are also being warned that they face prison and a criminal record if they continue to travel abroad.

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A Garda checkpoint under Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A Garda checkpoint under Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A Garda checkpoint under Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photo: Steve Humphreys

An increase in fines for going on holiday abroad, from €500 to €2,000, as well as a mandatory hotel quarantine for some arrivals into Ireland are on the cards for a cabinet meeting this morning. 

Legislation that will increase fines to clamp down on unnecessary journeys will be considered while anyone arriving from a list of 20 countries deemed high risk will have to isolate in a State-nominated hotel.

It's expected the bill would be around €2,000 per adult for people coming from those countries as they quarantine for two weeks at their own expense.

Some of the high-risk list countries include Brazil, South Africa, Austria, the UAE and many sub-Saharan African countries where there are fears about new variants.

Hotel quarantine will also apply to people that arrive here without a negative PCR test and refuse to take one.

People going on holidays are also being warned that they face prison and a criminal record if they continue to travel abroad.

With some people choosing to ignore the restrictions and continue with their holiday plans, 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.

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No-fly zone: The departure gates at Dublin Airport as passenger numbers remain low under Covid travel restrictions

No-fly zone: The departure gates at Dublin Airport as passenger numbers remain low under Covid travel restrictions

No-fly zone: The departure gates at Dublin Airport as passenger numbers remain low under Covid travel restrictions

Anyone who fails to comply with these directions from Gardaí 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.

Gardaí are currently issuing the €500 fine to people found in breach of the travel restrictions before directing them not to continue their journey.

If they insist on continuing with their travel plans, Gardaí will then warn them of the further criminal offence they would be committing and the risk of an additional fine, prison term and criminal record.

As of February 12, Gardaí have issued almost 5,000 fines for non-essential travel, including 132 fines for non-essential travel to ports and airports.

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