'Multiple attempts' to leave UK via Channel Tunnel lands 14 with fines

Fourteen people have been fined for “repeated” attempts to leave the UK in breach of government Covid-19 regulations.

As part of the English lockdown, people were ordered to stay at home and were only allowed to leave with a limited number of exceptions.

People are advised not to travel in the UK and abroad except for work, education or other reasons permitted by law, such as travel.

Police officers in the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel said they spoke to more than 50 people in four days who were trying to leave the country “without a reasonable excuse”.

Kent police said there were eight people in one car from two different families trying to travel from London to Bulgaria.

The officers also spoke to the occupants of three other cars with two people each from Leicester, Birmingham and Thetford.

Despite the advice, all four cars tried to leave the country via the Channel Tunnel instead. They were stopped again by officials and each received a fixed £ 200 fine.

The driver of the eight-person car also received a fixed sentence for not having insurance.

In addition, officials stopped at the Channel Tunnel and spoke to a man from London who was trying to travel to France. He received advice but then left and shortly afterwards attempted to cross the port before being fined.

Claire Nix, assistant chief of police, said: “The government has made it very clear that the best way to support the NHS and save lives is to stay home. It is our job to make sure that people take action respect for everyone’s protection.

“By December 2nd, people should only leave their homes for reasons stated by the government, which include work, exercise, medical appointments, eating and caring for vulnerable people.

“Everyone should familiarize themselves with the full list of exceptions and understand what is expected of them at this point.

“It’s fair to say that the majority of the people of Kent demonstrated during the pandemic that they respect and comply with Covid-19 regulations. Even so, officials across the county have been out to oblige, explain and obey encourage them to adhere to restrictions.

“In most situations, we can fix violations without incurring a fine. In such cases, however, we have no choice but to take enforcement action when people openly disregard and refuse to follow the advice.”

“In Kent, we will continue to police sensibly, proportionately and fairly, asking that everyone retain personal responsibility for controlling the spread of the virus and protecting themselves from harm.”


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