Friday, January 22, 2021

By Elizabeth Lee

GARDAÍ are warning people to stay at home and not to embark on non-essential travel this weekend after they issued almost 1,000 fines since this lockdown began.

Last weekend, more than 300 fines were issued for suspected breaches of the public health regulations related to non-essential travel.

Since their introduction on 11 January, An Garda Síochána issued 771 fines for non-essential travel up to Thursday 21 January, while a further 200 fines are still be processed.

They’re advising people to plan their weekend activities with the 5km limit in mind, adding that all adults in a vehicle or group in breach of non-essential travel regulation can be fined.

Last weekend, gardaí focussed their attention on the main routes into the county and paid particular attention to the Kilkenny, Wexford, Athy and Dublin roads. On Saturday alone, an eight-hour checkpoint was set up at Ballyvergal on the Dublin Road, while there were also rolling patrols across the county.

On Saturday, there were 18 checkpoints at various stages throughout the county, while there were 15 of them the following day. There were almost 40 rolling patrols surveying the county on Saturday, while there were 30 on Sunday.

The gardaí will continue its series of checkpoints and high-visibility patrols at public amenities across the country this weekend in support of public health regulations.

As it did last weekend, An Garda Síochána is advising the public of the need to plan their activities over the weekend to take 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.

A breakdown by garda region of the non-essential travel fines issued up to yesterday (Thursday) is: 144 issued in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, 315 in the East, 213 in South, and 99 in Northwest.

Of those receiving the fines, 77 per cent have been male and 23 per cent have been female. The age breakdown is: 18-25 (40 per cent), 26-35 (26 per cent), 36-45 (21 per cent), 46-55 (8 per cent), 56-55 (3 per cent), and 66 plus (2 per cent).

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