Gardaí fine three people for driving 80km to get a takeaway during Covid restrictions
Four others were also fined after being spotted emerging from the rear of a gym.
Three individuals received fines this week after they were stopped by Gardaí over 80km from their homes without a reasonable excuse.
Gardaí stopped a car in Ringsend, where the driver of vehicle stated that he and his two passengers travelled from Meath to collect burgers from a takeaway in Dublin 4.
All three were issued with a €100 Fixed Payment Notice (FPN).
Since Monday 11 January, members of An Garda Síochána can prosecute breaches of Travel Restrictions under Covid-19 Regulations by means of a €100 Fixed Payment Notice.
An Garda Síochána has said it issued 29 FPNs from Monday to Wednesday this week for breaches of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
A further eight FPNs have been issued in respect of previous alleged breaches from Friday 1 January to Monday 11 January 2021.
Gardaí said the FPNs came as a result of a significant number of static and mobile checkpoints as part of Operation Fanacht, designed to support the Stay Home/Stay Safe message by focusing on non-essential travel.
In north Dublin, four people were observed leaving the rear of a gym. A further examination - which included speaking with two gym instructors who claimed to be working from the gym as they had no internet at home to conduct online classes - resulted in six FPNs being issued.
"Our health service is under pressure," Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said.
"Deaths from Covid-19 are rising. ICU admissions are increasing. The best way for people to protect and honour front-line workers is to stay at home. The best way for people to protect their loved ones, their neighbours, and their communities is to stay at home.
"Please only make essential journeys. Exercise within 5km of your home. Minimise the amount of people you meet. Wear a face mask. Maintain social distancing. Wash your hands. If you visit somewhere to exercise and it is crowded then leave. This will all help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and protect lives."
Some other examples of breaches leading to FPNs in the last few days include:
- A female driver was requested to return home at a checkpoint in Cork. Subsequently the driver was observed at a beach amenity outside the 5km limit. Driver acknowledged she was breaching Covid regulations and offered no further reasonable excuse.
- Two cyclists stopped near Carrick, Galway, not from same household, no social distancing, or face coverings, 19km from home and in another county. Claimed reasonable excuse of physical exercise, but were outside 5km applicable limit.
- Waterford city - male stopped walking on the street, said he had been out for food and then to see friends on the other side of the city - no reasonable excuse.
- Checkpoint outside Cork City - male and female not from same household stopped while driving and claimed to be travelling to visit elderly relative. On completion of checkpoint a few minutes later, Gardaí patrolled local amenity carpark and found the same driver. He had not travelled to visit elderly relative, had no reasonable excuse and was outside 5km limit for physical exercise. Both car occupants issued FPNs.