New legislation giving gardai additional powers to close pubs breaching Covid-19 guidelines comes into force
New legislation giving gardai additional powers to enforce compliance with coronavirus restrictions comes into force today.
President Micheal D Higgins has signed the Criminal Justice Enforcement Powers Covid-19 Bill 2020 Bill into law.
The legislation gives gardai powers to seek temporary closure orders of pubs breaching rules, such as the requirement to serve food.
Closure orders issued by a district court could result in a pub being shut for up to 30 days.
Gardai can also issue fines of up to €2,500 euros or a maximum of six months in prison if bars infringing social distancing regulations refuse to close for a day.
It comes as Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn is urging people living in Dublin to limit their contacts with others in a bid to halt further spread of Covid-19.
He said: “While we are seeing a continued increase in cases, particularly in Dublin, this is at least partly due to the willingness of people to heed our core messages around knowing the symptoms and coming forward promptly for testing.
“This, together with all of the other key behaviours, will help to break the chain of transmission in our communities.
“This weekend, please limit your social contacts, especially visitors to your home. Avoid crowds, keep your distance from others, and wear a face covering where appropriate.”
In a video message last night, Dr Glynn warned that the r number of cases in Dublin could double in a fortnight unless people reduce their social contacts.
He said there are an average of 104 new cases in the capital each day and now is the time to grasp the “window of opportunity”.
Limit contacts, avoid crowds and prioritise the people you want to see, he added.
The Department of Health yesterday reported another 211 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Forty-two cases yesterday were due to community transmission.
The figures for yesterday show that 121 cases were in Dublin, 17 in Louth, 10 in Limerick, eight in Cork, seven in Westmeath, seven in Wicklow, six in Laois, five in Donegal, and five in Galway.
The remaining 24 cases are in Carlow, Clare, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, and Waterford.