February 4, 2023

LATEST: Five further deaths and 611 new cases of virus, plans for on-the-spot fines for people in breach of Covid rules

Five more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 611 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.

There overall death toll as a result of the virus now stands at 1,816. There are now 39,584 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

The breakdown of the latest cases is as follows: 218 are in Dublin, 63 in Cork, 60 in Donegal, 35 in Galway, 31 in Kildare with the remaining 204 located across 21 other counties.

The latest cases were confirmed as Taoiseach Micheál Martin today confirmed the Government will consider introducing fines to enforce Covid restrictions.

Mr Martin told the Dáil the State’s Oversight Committee met this morning to examine ways to enforce Level 3 restrictions.

The Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, has also indicated a system of fines may have to be considered for people who break restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.

Mr Varadkar told last night’s Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting that the Government’s primary aim was to get public buy-in rather than to introduce draconian measures. He indicated that if fines were to be introduced, they would have to be on-the-spot fines rather than involving the courts.

He suggested an appropriate penalty could be around €50 for not wearing a mask and €200 for not breaking travel guidelines.

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