What Northumbria Police have said after officers patrolled South Shields seafront on sunny lockdown weekend
Police have urged people to ‘play their part to help prevent the spread of Covid-19’ after asking those who had driven to South Shields seafront to follow the lockdown rules.
Police officers stopped cars in the Harbour Drive South car park by the Little Haven promenade on Saturday, February 27 to speak to people who had driven to the coast for their daily exercise during the third national lockdown.
Northumbria Police were pictured handing out letters to drivers reminding them of the Government guidance on staying local but the force has confirmed that these letters were not fines.
A force spokesman said: “We can confirm officers were on patrol at Sandhaven Beach in South Shields on Saturday and Sunday.
“During the course of the weekend they engaged with members of the public, which included handing out letters to motorists reminding them of the Government guidance and asking them to adhere to it.
“As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to work closely with our communities.
“However, as we have made clear, where individuals are choosing to ignore the measures in place, we are committed to taking enforcement action to protect our communities.
“We would ask everyone to continue to play their part to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
Under the national restrictions, imposed at the start of January, outdoor exercise should be taken locally. However people can travel a short distance within their own local area to do so.
In an effort to promote social distancing, the council has installed signs along the seafront reminding people to stay two metres apart.
Mobile advertising, reinforcing the ‘stay home, stay local’ message will be seen over the coming weeks aimed at people who are travelling to the seafront from outside the local area.
South Tyneside Council’s director of Public Health, Tom Hall, said: “Exercise is allowed, but I must stress that people should stay local and should not be travelling to exercise.
"I would urge people not to congregate in large groups and to respect the rules, particularly around social distancing, which are aimed at reducing the spread of the virus while the vaccine is rolled out.
"It is vital that we all do everything we can to reduce the chance of transmission.”