Two major Covid-19 regulation breaches were discovered in north west businesses last weekend, gardaí report.
This weekend Gardaí issued the Ireland’s first ‘Immediate Closure Order’ under section 4 Criminal Justice (Enforcement Powers) (Covid-19) Act, 2020 to a licensed premises in the north west.
The enforcement resulted from “persistent non-compliance with requirement to serve substantial meal, in addition to non-adherence to public health guidelines” at the business. The local Superintendent issued an ‘Immediate Closure Order’ on the premises for the remainder of that date. A further file will be prepared for consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In recent days, a hotel in the north west was found to have around 100 people in one function room, with no social distancing and no food served. Gardaí report inspecting the premises at 9.20pm and finding groups of people in one room gathering at tables numbering 12 or more. There were a number of people intoxicated in the room and a downstairs lounge had another 50 people drinking.
The reception area was similar, gardaí noted, while outside car loads began to arrive but turned back.
Another licensed premises in the north west was inspected by gardaí at 8.30pm on either Saturday or Sunday. (Gardaí have not confirmed the locations or dates of each inspection.) At this premises, gardaí found little evidence of food being consumed, while approximately 80 people were on the premises drinking alcohol.
Gardaí noted: “No times on contact tracing register, no order book, nine individual invoices with an average of three meals on each, dates on these had been changed. Inspected kitchen – no food being cooked.”
Gardaí carried out thousands of inspections of licensed premised from Friday 18th – Sunday 20th December inclusive. The vast majority of premises continue to be compliant, the authorities say, but regulation breaches continue to be detected.