Police have issued €80,150 in the 17 days since tougher penalties were approved for businesses found breaking decrees to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He said that with the adoption by the House of Representatives of the higher fines, police had stepped up their checks of catering establishments.
From June 19 when the new penalties were adopted to yesterday, police carried out 10,175 checks and booked 130 businesses. Fines were issued for not wearing a mask, for not keeping the two metres distance and for breaking the rule on the maximum of people permitted.
In one case, a venue was fined €8000 while another five were fined €4,000 each. In addition, eight were fined €300, another 83 were fined €500, three were fined €750, three received a €1,000 fine and two a €1,500 fine. Police have prepared case files for 25 cases to go to court.
So far, police have not had to make use of the power they have been given by the House of Representatives to close down premises for repeat offences.
Under the new regime, premises up to 50 square metres face a fine of €500 for a first offence and €1000 for a second offence.
For businesses of 51 square metres to 100 square metres, the first offence carries a fine of €750 and the second of €1,500.
The corresponding fines for businesses of 101 square metres to 200 square metres are €1,500 and €3,000 whereas for those 201 square metres to 500 square metres they are €4,000 and €8,000.
Finally, businesses which are bigger than 501 square metres face fines of €8,000 for a first offence and €16,000 for a second.