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Man Fined €500 After Trying to Use Fake “Essential Worker” Letter To Go On Sun Holiday

Man Fined €500 After Trying to Use Fake “Essential Worker” Letter To Go On Sun Holiday

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A man has been left €500 poorer after trying to jet off on a beach holiday to the popular winter sun destination of Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. The unnamed traveller used a fake ‘essential travel’ letter from his employer in his attempt to evade current lockdown restrictions in Ireland but was caught out by Garda officers who were carrying out spot checks.

In its battle against the novel Coronavirus, the Irish Republic has imposed its toughest Level Five lockdown restrictions which means people must stay at home unless for an essential activity like work or grocery shopping. Leaving home for exercise is even limited to a 5km radius.

All non-essential international travel is also banned but people may still jump on a plane if they have a “reasonable excuse” which includes travelling for essential work that can’t be completed in Ireland.

On the official Twitter account of Ireland’s Garda police force, officers shared a photo of the fake letter that one traveller tried to recently use for a flight to Tenerife.

“This letter is to certify that … [name redacted] … is an Electronic Security Systems Provider which is an essential service in Europe and covered by the Irish Government advice of January 24th,” the letter explained.

It went onto explain that the traveller was to provide an “essential service” at the hotel in the Canary Islands where he planned to stay. To make the scam seem more believable it was printed on official letterhead paper and even provided a contact to verify its authenticity.

Unfortunately, the Garda at Dublin airport weren’t convinced and issued a €500 Euro fine for breaching lockdown restrictions. “COVID-19 doesn’t switch-off so that people can attend parties, or go on holidays, or gather in large groups.” Deputy Commissioner John Twomey commented on Friday.

Last year it emerged that some people were booking one-way flights from Dublin airport just to go to the pub. At the time, bars and restaurants across the Irish capital were shut due to COVID-19 but airport establishments enjoyed a special exemption.

One group of (fake) travellers claim they booked plane tickets and went to the airport just to go to a pub without any intention of catching their flight. Dublin airport said it had no evidence that anyone had actually made use of the loophole and warned anyone attempting to do so would be fined.