MPs on Friday approved tougher penalties for businesses that break the quarantine law and gave police authority to temporarily close down venues found to be in violation of the various decrees.
The tougher regime, which the government had described as essential to help contain the spread of coronavirus as the economy reopens, was approved by 45 votes in favour and six against.
The final bills had been amended by the House Legal Affairs Committee so that penalties will correspond to the size of the premise.
- The out of court fines will be as follows:
a) for businesses or venues with a space to be used by clients of up to 50 square metres: €500 for a first offence and €1,000 for a second.
b) for businesses or venues with a space to be used by clients of between 51 and 101 square metres: €750 for a first offence and €1,500 for a second.
c) for businesses or venues with a space to be used by clients of between 101 and 200 square metres: €1500 for a first offence and €3,500 for a second.
d) for businesses or venues with a space to be used by clients of between 201 and 500 square metres: €4000 for a first offence and €8,000 for a second.
e) for businesses or venues with a space to be used by clients of more than 501 square metres: €8000 for a first offence and €16,000 for a second.
- As regard obtaining an injunction suspending the operation of a business:
a) a police officer can at the instruction of the chief of police close down a business found to be in violation of decrees issued under the quarantine law for a period not exceeding 5 days
b) this can revoked at the instructions of the police chief at any time
c) business owners who feel they have been wronged can appeal to the Justice Minister within seven days and ask it be revoked
d) persons who break the order are guilty of an offence and subject to penalties under the law
- Police can enter any premise or business where there is economic activity relating to goods or services if they suspect an offence is being committed. Residential premises, for which the permission of the owner or resident is permitted, are excluded.