More than one hundred on-the-spot fines were issued by Gardai across Donegal this week for breaches of Covid regulations.
Last week the total number of fines to date in the county reached 390.
But figures just released by Gardai show that a major jump of 101 fines bringing the total number issued in recent weeks to 491.
An Garda Síochána say they continue to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings, exercise etc.) in breach of regulations.
They say these are not just breaches of regulations, but are a risk to the individuals involved, their families and loved ones, and continue to put everybody’s health and the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic at risk.
Recent surveys have shown that the majority of people believe that they are doing the right thing, but the reality is that the level of casual contacts remains high.
An Garda Síochána say they will be continuing nationwide checkpoints and high visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations.
An Garda Síochána is again advising the public of the need to plan their activities over the weekend to take into account that people are only allowed to exercise within 5km of their home. People are reminded that the 5km limit includes the distance travelled from their home to a location for exercise. In other words, you can’t travel more than 5km to a location to exercise.
The public should also be aware that if a driver is found to be in breach of the non-essential travel regulations that not only can the driver be fined, but their adult passengers as well. This is also the case for adults in groups undertaking activities such as cycling or walking – every adult in such a group can be fined.
When visiting amenities within 5km of your home please park legally. Illegal parking can hinder access by emergency services and could put lives at risk. As we saw during previous weekends, people who illegally park are at risk of having their cars towed and impounded.
In enforcing these regulations, Gardaí have been using the 4Es approach – engaging, explaining, and encouraging with enforcement a last resort.
An Garda Síochána continues to remind persons subject to domestic violence – Travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence or to escape a risk of harm, whether to the person or to another person.
An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to any person who may have been the victim of an incident of sexual or domestic crime irrespective of whether you may have been in breach of any public health regulations, for instance by attending a house party. An Garda Síochána is here to assist and support you. Please report all such incidents.
Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, Anne Marie McMahon said, “The vast majority of people are complying with the public health regulations. In doing so, they have made major sacrifices. This effort has saved many lives. We thank them for that.
“Unfortunately, despite the constant public health advice, we are still seeing people attending house parties and other large social gatherings. Going to such gatherings puts yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else you come into contact with after of getting COVID-19.
“Everyone has a role to play in this. The best way of keeping safe this weekend is to stay home. If you are going out, please stay within your 5km, limit your contacts with others, maintain social distancing, and regularly wash your hands.”
To date, An Garda Síochána has issued approximately 13,600 Covid-19 fines across the range of all COVID-19 breaches.
As of close of business yesterday (March 11 2021), the following number of fines had been issued:
– 10,013 €100 fines for non-essential travel
– 538 €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports – the total number of €100 and €500 fines for non-essential journeys to airports/ports is 915
– 420 €500 fines for organising a house party and 1,620 €150 fines for attending a house party
– 244 fines of €80 each for not wearing a face covering
– 144 fines of €100 for non-essential travel by persons not ordinarily resident in the State