It’s about to get trickier to flout the 5km travel rule.
The Cabinet will meet today to discuss the range and severity of proposed new fixed charges and penalties that are set to be introduced when the six-week Level 5 lockdown begins at midnight on Wednesday.
Announcing the new restrictions, which come into force at midnight on Wednesday, the Government confirmed that “there will be a penalty for movement outside 5km of home” with exemptions for essential work and essential purposes.
New exemptions this time around include travel to and from weddings.
While no details of the exact penalties have been announced just yet, earlier this month, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar suggested a fine of €200 for anyone found to have left their county without a valid reason during a lockdown.
As it stands, various regulations out in place since the beginning of the pandemic have given An Garda Síochána additional powers, including arrest without warrant.
Offences are punishable by a fine of up to €2,500, up to six months imprisonment, or a combination of both.
So what constitutes an essential journey?
Here’s the list of essential purposes for travel outside of the 5km limit:
- to shop for essential items
- travel to and from work, where work involves providing an essential service (see below)
- to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products
- for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, and in particular for those who live alone, as part of an extended household but excluding social family visits
- to attend a wedding or funeral
- for farming purposes i.e. food production and/or care of animals
- to visit a grave
- NEW: Exemptions for weddings (irrespective of venue). Up to 25 guests.
- Exemption for funerals: Up to 10 mourners.