Four people on their way to McDonald's fined £200 each after cops pull them over for breaking Covid rules
FOUR men caught travelling to get a McDonald's breakfast were fined £800 for breaching coronavirus laws.
Police slapped them with a £200 fine each after pulling their car over at 5am in Bedford Road, Northampton.
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The men claimed they were on their way to get a McDonald's breakfast – even though the fast food restaurant didn't open for another two hours.
Enquiries confirmed the four were not from the same household, so the journey breached lockdown rules, which officially came into force at midnight.
As a result, police officers slapped them each with £200 fines or "COVID tickets".
Current lockdown restrictions mean people can now only legally leave their home for a handful reasons including essential shopping for food or medicine, caring for someone, attending medical appointments or travelling to work if they "absolutely" can't work from home.
They are also allowed to exercise once a day with one other person from another household.
All other household mixing is banned unless you are in a support or childcare bubble and you should not travel to a second home or go on holiday.
The Northampton Response Team wrote on Twitter: "At 5am we stopped a car with 4 ppl in.. Just going to McDonald's.
"Not all of them live in the same household, 4x COVID tickets issued.
"Pls make sure you are up to date with the most recent http://Gov.uk guidance to make sure you don't end up with a ticket!"
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered the country to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.
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
Police officers and PCSOs have been instructed to issue fines more quickly to “anyone committing obvious, wilful and serious breaches”.
Fixed penalty notices of £200 will be issued for a first offence, with this doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
In addition to travelling rules, people are only allowed to meet up with one other person from outside their own household, and only when outdoors.
Only people from a single household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle.
Cops also warned that anyone attending parties, unlicensed music events or large illegal gatherings will be fined – not just the organisers.
Those holding, or involved in holding, an illegal gathering of more than 30 people risk a police-issued fine of £10,000.
Meanwhile, people not wearing masks where they should be, and without good reason, will also be fined.
Non-essential shops, such as clothing and homeware stores, Vehicle showrooms, and hairdressers, have also been ordered to close as the UK.
This comes as the Covid-19 alert level has been raised to five for the first time – the highest setting.
A Northamptonshire Police spokesman added: "Please make sure you are up to date with the most recent gov.uk guidance so you don't end up with a ticket.
"The Government has been very clear about the necessity for everyone to stick to the rules about when you can go out and what you can do.
"The vast majority of people across Northamptonshire continue to act responsibly however, a small minority continue to spoil it for everyone else.
"If you are the kind of person who decides to put others at risk with irresponsible behaviour, you can expect us to take the appropriate action.
"We need everyone to play their part and protect the NHS – this is more important now than ever before, due to the alarming rise in infections."
Anyone aged 18 or over can be fined £200 for a first offence – lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days – £400 for a second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
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