COPS are slapping fines on punters downing pints at a pub and breaking up house parties as revellers claim they ‘didn’t know there was a pandemic'.
A tweet from London’s London's Metropolitan Special Constabulary referenced a call out to a pub in Hackney, east London, where a pub had been illegally opened last night.
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“On arrival a large group inside,” the tweet read.
“Covid fixed penalty notice given to everyone present!”
The violation of Covid-19 rules comes a little less than two weeks into a full national lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the measures on January 4, when he spoke of the pressures on hospitals and the rising number of cases as the main driver for the strict new measures.
Johnson said that we must once again stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. While he did not put a date on the end of lockdown, the end was “in sight”, he said.
Referring to the vaccine rollout, he said: "Thanks to the miracle of science, not only is the end in sight – but we know exactly how we will get there."
Meanwhile, cops have been kept busy with punters flouting the rules; throwing parties, embarking on non-essential travel and illegally opening pubs.
REVELLERS ‘UNAWARE’ OF GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Hampshire officers attended an address in Basingstoke last night following several reports of a party at a residential address breaching lockdown guidelines.
“The occupants were spoken to and claimed to be unaware of the global pandemic, as they never watch the news!” a tweet from Hampshire police read.
‘#ThereAreNoWords’ the tweet continued.
CRACKDOWN ON GATHERING IN SOUTH WALES
Meanwhile in South Wales, officers had issued eight fixed penalty notices after attending a house in the district of Sketty, west of Swansea.
“[officers] located people from different households in a garden shed/converted bar all mixing with each other,” a tweet from South Wales Police read.
Comments on the tweet congratulated police for cracking down on the ‘spreaders’, while others expressed their frustration at people’s inability to follow the rules.
“I’m getting so fed up of this lockdown and it’s never going to end because people can’t follow simple rules,” one user tweeted.
"Irresponsible people. No wonder the numbers keep going up," another said.
Other rule floaters have been hit with fines for embarking on lengthy journeys across the country which police have deemed “completely unacceptable.
MOTORISTS FINED FOR NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Four hungry pals who drove a whopping 68 miles to pick up a feast from McDonald's earlier this month were each hit with a £200 fine for breaching Covid rules.
The group, who were each from different households, was pulled over in Uttoxeter, Staffs., last night after travelling from the Manchester area.
And Meanwhile, a group of people who drove 170 miles “for exercise” on the Jurassic Coast have been handed fines by police, who have dubbed the trip “completely unacceptable”.
The group included seven people who travelled from Coventry to Durdle Door, near Lulworth, Dorset.
They were stopped by police in an encounter pictured by a representative from the local Lulworth Estate, which runs the beauty spot.
A spokesperson for the Lulworth Estate urged people to abide by lockdown rules.
“The police have just had to issue fines to two carloads of people who had driven down from Coventry."
Dorset Police put their weight behind the warning, reminding people that travelling so far for exercise was “completely unacceptable”.
What you could be fined for
You could face a fine for:
- Being out of your home without a reasonable excuse as below
- Travelling abroad or going on holiday during the lockdown period – as this is not a reasonable excuse
- Breaking Covid rules by having others outside your household inside your home
- Meeting people outside your household outside – unless it's one person for exercise alone
- Hosting a gathering – this could see you get a fine of up to £10,000
- Businesses or venues can be fined up to £10,000 too for continuing to operate despite being ordered to shut
- Not wearing a face covering on public transport or in shops
"Reasonable" excuses for being out of your home include:
- Work: If you have to go to work as you really can't work from home, this will be allowed. Key workers such as those who work for the police, or NHS, will be permitted to do so
- School: only for the kids of key workers or vulnerable pupils
- Exercise: Boris will continue to allow unlimited exercise outdoors. That means people can carry on going for walks, runs and other forms of exercise outdoors if they wish. You can do that with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household
- Food, drink & supplies: People will still be allowed out to collect food and drink – such as at the supermarket, or take-aways
- Medical appointments: Everyone will be urged to continue to attend hospital and doctor appointments if they need to
- To escape injury or harm; those at risk of harm are allowed to leave their current home and move elsewhere
- To provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer: people will still be allowed to travel to care for people who need it, or attend volunteer work too
Two people had been issued fixed penalty notices, police confirmed.
A force spokesman added: "Our officers, including our dedicated Covid-19 patrol officers, will continue to use a '4 Es' approach of escalation, where they will engage, explain and encourage people to follow the regulations.
Police recently warned that they would move quickly to slap lockdown rule breakers with fines.
"We all know the law by now and know exactly what is the right thing to do, acting assistant chief constable Nigel Harrison said recently.
"It is on every single news channel, radio bulletins and in the newspapers. There’s no escaping the fact that people have been told to stay home.
“It is not acceptable to pick and choose the law you follow and the laws you don’t.
This was “not a dress rehearsal”, Harrison said.
“People will live and die on the actions we all choose."
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