Covid: Scenes in Matlock Bath 'like a bank holiday'

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image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionOne group said they had travelled more than 15 miles to the town, despite government advice to stay at home

Eight people have been fined after scenes in a tourist hotspot resembled a "bank holiday", police have said.

Officers said "countless" numbers of visitors to Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, were asked to adhere to lockdown rules.

Police told a group of friends who drove 40 minutes to buy fish and chips to "find a chippy somewhere local".

The parish council believed the crowds were drawn by the weekend's fine weather and said residents had been "worried" by the turnout.

Derbyshire Police said they handed out fines to a Stoke-on-Trent family who were "out for a drive", as well as a driver from Ilkeston "cruising around" with two friends from different households.

image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionThe Matlock Safer Neighbourhood Team said it was "like a bank holiday" when they visited on Sunday

On Sunday, the Matlock Safer Neighbourhood Team tweeted: "It is like a bank holiday today. We're in a lockdown. We are issuing Covid-19 fixed penalty notices for those breaching the regulations."

A Derbyshire Police spokeswoman said fines had been issued to people who had travelled to Matlock Bath and neighbouring Matlock, which had both been "very busy".

"[We] spoke to countless others to make sure they were adhering to the current lockdown rules," she said.

"Officers fined people who had travelled a significant distance to the area, as well as people who were travelling in cars with others who were not from their household or support bubble.

"Although we are all looking forward to the easing of restrictions in the coming months, we are still in lockdown and we all have a responsibility to adhere to the rules in order to bring infection rates down and save lives."

She added officers would be patrolling the area again on Saturday and Sunday.

Peter Baranek, chairman of Matlock Bath Parish Council, said the weekend was the busiest the town had been since the summer.

He added: "Residents are very worried. It's not fair on them... a lot feel vulnerable when it's like this.

"People have got to remember we're not out of the woods yet."

In nearby Nottingham, officers said they had to clear the Arboretum of people because the city centre park was "heaving".

In Leicester, officers were called to a garden party on Welford Road on Sunday afternoon, where they found "between 10 and 20 people attending a birthday party".

The organiser was fined £200.

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