Covid-19: Horsey seal sightseeing couple fined for 130-mile trip

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Police said it was people's responsibility to adhere to the guidance, "no matter how tempting it is to travel for a change of scene"

A couple who travelled about 130 miles (209km) to see the seals on the Norfolk coast during the coronavirus lockdown have been fined by police.

The man and woman, in their 50s, had travelled to Horsey from their home in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire on Thursday afternoon.

They were fined after a vehicle check in the beach car park found it was registered outside of the county.

Norfolk Police have urged the public to "stay local".

The force said officers would be on "dedicated Covid-19 patrols" in areas including town centres and beauty spots.

Guidance for the current lockdown states that people can travel for exercise as long as it is in their "local area".

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Image caption,
The couple travelled about 130 miles to see the seals

T/Assistant Chief Constable, Julie Wvendth, said: "The 'stay at home' rule is clear. You should only leave your home for a reasonable excuse such as food shopping, caring for someone who is vulnerable and for one form of exercise a day.

"If you do need to leave home for any of these reasons, you should stay local.

"The government has outlined that staying local means staying in the village, town or part of the city where you live.

"It's our responsibility to adhere to this no matter how tempting it is to travel for a change of scene."

She said officers with "use their discretion" with those who had travelled from their home, adding: "If we find people are blatantly breaking the rules, we will issue fines."

The news of the fine comes after two women in Derbyshire described how they were surrounded by police, read their rights and fined £200 each after driving five miles (8km) to take a walk.

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