Fines For Breaking Covid Restrictions To Be Introduced

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New fines for people holding house parties are part of tougher coronavirus laws.

The cabinet’s agreed to bring in a system of graduated penalties for those breaking the rules.

It’s expected people not wearing face masks in shops, or breaking the 5 kilometre travel limit, could also be fined under new Garda powers.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe says most people are following the rules – but compliance needs to be even better in the weeks ahead.

The Taoiseach has said getting the reproductive rate of the virus consistently below one is the target of the new lockdown.

The exit strategy involves getting the R rate as low as 0.5 if possible.

The country will move to level 5 restrictions at midnight tomorrow.

The government is expecting around 200 thousand people to lose their jobs when Level 5 Covid restrictions come in.

The lockdown measures will force businesses deemed non-essential to close from tomorrow night for six weeks.

Extra state supports worth 1.25 billion euro are being put in place.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys says most of that will be for people on the pandemic unemployment payment.