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Question

1410. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Justice the number and value of fines issued to date in 2021 for failing to abide by the mandatory home quarantine requirement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18899/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be aware, the Government's response to the Covid pandemic is led by my colleague, the Minister for Health. Minister Donnelly has made a number of regulations as part of the public health response to the pandemic under the Health Act 1947 (as amended), including a number of penal provisions which are designated as fixed charge offences.
I can confirm, however, that there is no fixed charge offence of 'failing to abide by the mandatory home quarantine requirement' under the regulations under the Health Act 1947 (as amended) as introduced by Minister Donnelly. Consequently, no fixed charge offence fines have been issued for 'failing to abide by the mandatory home quarantine requirement'.
Statutory Instrument 135 of 2021 provides, in Regulation 9(1), that a 'relevant traveller' (other than certain exempted categories) shall remain at their place of residence for 14 days after their arrival into the State and this is a penal provision under Section 38A of the Health Act 1947, as amended.
Any person under Section 31A "(6)(d) in purported compliance with a requirement under regulations under subsection (1), gives information to a relevant person that, to the first-mentioned person's knowledge, is false or misleading in any material particular," shall be guilty of an offence.
Under Section 31A " (7) A member of the Garda Síochána who suspects, with reasonable cause, that a person is contravening or has contravened a provision of a regulation made under subsection (1) that is stated to be a penal provision, may, for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the regulation, direct the person to take such steps as the member considers necessary to comply with the provision."
Further, Section 31A (8) makes it an offence for any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a direction under subsection (7). Gardaí may arrest, without warrant, such a person and they are liable to, on summary conviction in Court for a first offence, a fine not in excess of €4,000, a term of imprisonment of up to one month or both. Further penalties apply on subsequent convictions.
For the Deputy's information, details regarding the current level of Fixed Charge Penalties for breaches of the regulations in place issued by An Garda Síochána are published on the Garda website and they are available at the following link:
https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/covid-fines-9-4-21.png