Revealed: Scores of NI citizens slapped with £1,000 fines for not self-isolating due to Covid

Almost 50 people have been fined £1,000 for failing to self-isolate, police have said.

Monday, 2nd November 2020, 6:47 pm
PSNI officers patrolling the student area of Belfast known as the Holylands earlier this year. The area has been blighted by anti-social behaviour over previous years St Patrick's Day festivities.

In the latest weekly update, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said since March they have now handed out 47 of the top tariff fines.

In policing the coronavirus regulations, officers have also handed out 1,775 penalty notices, which start at a £60 fine and can increase on repeated offences.

There have also been 1,115 community resolution notices handed out.

In addition, some 449 prohibition notices have so far been issued. Of these, 82 were described as commercial while 362 concerned gatherings in private homes.

Most of these enforcement measures were issued in Belfast (1,446), followed by Derry and Strabane (551), Newry, Mourne and Down (258), Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (255) and Antrim and Newtownabbey (193).

The fewest enforcement measures were issued in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area (53).

Last month the Stormont Executive approved tougher penalties, which included increasing the minimum fine to £200, and fines on conviction up to £10,000.

However these have not yet become law.

Justice Minister Naomi Long told the Assembly on Monday that the regulations “should be laid shortly”, but said there had been some issues around delays in that because of the “pressure on the bespoke printing that is required for those enforcement notices”.

Meanwhile the PSNI also revealed that there are currently 652 officers and members of staff absent from work due to Covid-19, 570 of whom are self-isolating.