Two friends on a walk in Derbyshire, a couple from Northampton seal watching in Norfolk and a woman who drove 100 miles for a burger have all been fined - but how far are you allowed to travel during lockdown?
Jessica Allen from Ashby-de-la-Zouch and her friend Eliza Moore were stopped by police and fined £200 as they drove to Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire for what they considered a local, socially-distanced walk. The fines have since been rescinded by the force.
On their arrival, they say they were ‘surrounded’ by police and thought ‘someone had been murdered’.
Meanwhile, two people who travelled from Northamptonshire to visit a Norfolk beauty spot were fined after they were found to have made the 120-mile plus journey from their home in Wellingborough to visit Horsey to see the seals.
The man and woman admitted they had travelled to see the seals and were consequently issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Police issued a fixed penalty notice to the motorist, who is in her 30s, on Saturday after she drove from Lincolnshire for a McDonald’s meal with her sister in Scarborough in breach of Covid-19 regulations.
These are just a few examples of people facing fines for not following lockdown rules.
With so many fines being dished out since March, just how far are you allowed to travel during lockdown?
"The Prime Minister acted in accordance with the Covid guidance while he was exercising.
We have always trusted the public to exercise good judgment throughout the pandemic when we have asked them to exercise locally."
When ITV News Central contacted the Department of Health for guidance, they said:"The term ‘local area’ in this context has not been legally defined. "
"However, people should be sensible about this - if you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live - unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so (for example, you need to travel further for work or to avoid harm).”
Leicestershire Police told ITV News Central:
The legislation does not stipulate how far someone is able to travel for exercise. . As per the government guidance, ‘stay local’ means stay in the village, town or part of the city where you live. We are only able to enforce regulations based on the reasons why someone is out of their home – there is no mention about distance or travel in the regulations.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“We are continuing to carry out our high-visibility patrols across all areas of the city and county as part of our ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
“We are urging people to act responsibly and to abide by the current Covid-19 restrictions to help save lives.
“In cases where people blatantly choose to break the rules and put themselves and others at risk, the force will take swift and robust action in order to protect the communities we serve.”
West Midlands Police have also been contacted by ITV News Central for comment.