North Yorkshire Police have fined a pair of bikers who broke coronavirus lockdown rules by making a 200-mile round trip to the seaside town of Whitby “purely to eat fish and chips”.
Officers from Whitby Neighbourhood Policing Team said the two motorcyclists revealed they had travelled to the seaside resort from Rochdale in Lancashire after being pulled over on Sunday.
They were sent home and issued fines following the incident, with the force warning others their excuse “does not constitute reasonable travel”.
“Whilst Whitby would usually welcome visitors to sample our finest fish and chips, due to the current climate this does not constitute reasonable travel,” Whitby Town Police posted on Facebook.
“Today Whitby Neighbourhood Policing Team were patrolling the A169 and stopped two motorcyclists who had travelled from Rochdale purely for fish and chips.
“Both were sent home and issued fines for breaching COVID19 guidelines. Unfortunately for those motorcyclists we were in the right ‘plaice’ at the right time.
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“We will continue to strive to keep our community safe.”
According to North Yorkshire Police, a total of 61 fines were issued to members of the public flouting lockdown rules over the weekend.
Twelve of the 61 fines were issued in the town of Malham, which police said appeared to be a “hot spot”.
Under current social-distancing rules the government has granted police the power to fine people who are caught engaging in “non-essential travel”.
On Sunday this week, Boris Johnson is expected to make an address to the nation detailing a "menu of options" on how the nation will exit lockdown restrictions and re-energise the economy while still suppressing the spread of the virus.
But chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove has warned that people would have to live with "some degree of constraint" until they can be immunised against the deadly disease – suggesting Britons would have to accept a "new normal" until then.
Some social distancing measures, including travel restrictions, are expected to persist long after lockdown measures have eased.