Covid: Motorists fined for Essex to Scotland 'TikTok test-drive'

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image captionTwo men travelled from Southend to Scotland to test drive cars, police said

Two men have been fined for breaching Covid regulations after travelling from Essex to Scotland - and back - to "test drive" cars.

They made the return journey from Southend-on-Sea in order to make videos for TikTok, the men told police.

The round trip is at least 700 miles.

Officers said while they understood "attracting followers on social media" was important to some, this had attracted their attention and the men were issued £200 fixed penalty notices.

Police would not give further details of the illicit trip, but said: "A 38-year-old man from Southend and his 35-year-old friend attracted the attention of our officers after travelling all the way to Scotland and back to test-drive cars.

"Their excuse? They were making videos for TikTok."

The fines were among a number issued by Essex Police for "clear and blatant breaches of the Covid regulations" during the past week.

These included two men trying to leave the country via Stansted Airport to visit relatives, and a man who had returned to work rather than isolating after arriving from France.

Several day-trippers also overstepped the mark, as "some people decided that sunshine meant they could throw a party or enjoy time at the beach", officers said.

One woman "refused to pack up her blankets and chairs on Clacton beach" while a man became abusive when his barbecue and fish and chip supper were interrupted.

A 32-year-old woman was issued with a fine after inviting eight friends to her son's birthday party in Wickford. When officers arrived, guests fled over a fence.

A man who admitted he should have been self-isolating threw a party for his neighbours, a woman who held a party with 10 guests was fined, and six men at another party were also issued with notices.

Essex Police added: "If you are thinking about organising a social gathering or making a non-essential journey, please reconsider, stay safe and stop the unnecessary spread of Covid-19."

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