Police warning after crowds gather in Bristol on sunny weekend despite Covid

Bristol Harbourside 28/02
Police say public spaces have been noticeably busier. Credit: BPM Media/Bristol Live

Police in Bristol have warned people to follow lockdown rules after an increase in crowds over the weekend around Bristol Harbourside and the Clifton Downs.

The rules say people should exercise once a day close to their home, which can include a socially-distanced walk with one other person, but does not include stopping for a drink or conversation.

Police said public spaces have been noticeably busier and said while it's tempting to go out and enjoy the weather, people should continue to follow the rules while doing so. 

Pictures taken on the afternoon of Saturday 27 February showed the Harbourside and Clifton Downs were both busy.

There were also reports on Friday 26 February of people gathering near Broken Dock in large groups.

One man in the area said: "The busiest parts of the dockside were near the restaurants and coffee stands which were doing takeaways.

"There were lots of youngsters sat around, eating food. I was shocked at how many people there were, not keeping social distancing. People seemed so blasé.

"There were so many wandering round not seeming to care. It could have been any normal sunny weekend in Bristol. There were a few masks but not many.

"It seemed more like larger groups than households, with lots of people mixing and mingling together. There were some pretty long queues for takeaways and people were not keeping two metres apart."

Wapping Warf in Bristol. Credit: BPM Media/Bristol Live

There were also reports of long queues for an ice cream van, without social distancing, on The Downs yesterday afternoon.Neighbourhood Inspector Lorna Dallimore said: “Many of our public spaces have been noticeably busier the past couple of days and while we appreciate it’s tempting to head out and enjoy the good weather we urge people to continue to follow the rules.

“We’ve increased patrols and officers will continue to engage with anyone who appears to be breaching the regulations.

“Many of those who were out and about yesterday were in their family groups or bubbles or only with one other person but they all had the same idea of heading to locations such as parks and the waterfront.

Crowds gathered around the harbourside.

“We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to continue to stop the spread of the virus and so we’d ask people to think carefully about where they choose to exercise in order to limit the numbers in any one particular area.

“We continue to be grateful to members of the public for letting us know about people breaching the Covid legislation and if we do identify any egregious breaches we won’t hesitate to take action.

“The pandemic isn’t over. Please only leave home if it is absolutely essential, continue to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Read more: