COVID-19: Cars from Leeds and Manchester among 100 turned away from Formby beach in Merseyside

·2-min read

Police at Formby beach in Merseyside had to turn cars away from as far as Leeds and Manchester at the weekend.

Merseyside Police said patrols have been increased in the area following reports of "large numbers" of people at the coastal beauty spot looking to enjoy the nice weather.

On Saturday, officers turned away more than 100 cars and issued around 20 people with £200 fines for COVID-19 breaches.

Some people were found to have travelled to the coast from as far as Leeds, Stockport, and Manchester.

Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world

Superintendent Graeme Robson said there was a "large increase" in people travelling to the Formby beach area due to the good weather, some of whom had "travelled a significant distance".

He added: "This is totally unacceptable and shows a complete disregard for the government guidance, which is in place to protect not only ourselves but others around us.

"To flagrantly flout the rules in this way is not only reckless and irresponsible, but can result in a substantial fine, as we have seen today.

"Individuals from as far as Leeds, Manchester and Stockport were found to have made the trip to Formby today, which is quite frankly astounding.

"Now more than ever people should be taking heed of the advice, so that infection rates can continue to drop, and we can meet the criteria necessary for easing lockdown in the upcoming weeks and months."

Subscribe to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Current coronavirus rules in England state that people must only travel for essential reasons, and must remain local.

Mr Robson added: "We will continue to have increased patrols in the area over the upcoming weeks and I would strongly advise people to check ahead before travelling to popular destinations to ensure they can socially distance while there, and to avoid it completely if it's not within your local area."