The Taoiseach says he doesn't want to see anyone fined for breaking Covid rules - and they'll only be used as a last resort.
Level 5 restrictions are in place across the country, with all non essential shops closed and people being asked to stay at home.
A system of on-the-spot fines is also being brought in for things like attending or organising a house party - or breaking the 5 kilometre travel limit.
Taoiseach Michael Martin says the penalties are needed as an extra deterrent:
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