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Priti Patel Confirms Sitting On Park Benches is Banned Under New Lockdown Rules

Priti Patel Confirms Sitting On Park Benches is Banned Under New Lockdown Rules

The home secretary Priti Patel has warned that police will have the power to question people who are sat on park benches during the UK's third national lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third nationwide lockdown this week, ordering people to only leave home only when absolutely necessary in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The home secretary said more than 800 fines had already issued in the past two weeks for 'egregious' breaches of restrictions (Credit: PA)
The home secretary said more than 800 fines had already issued in the past two weeks for 'egregious' breaches of restrictions (Credit: PA)

Valid reasons include shopping, going to work, medical reasons and exercise once a day.

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People are only allowed to meet up with one other person from outside their own household, and only when outdoors.

According to the rules, sitting on benches does not constitute exercise and may break rules around socialising.

When asked whether officers would question anyone sitting in the park during the lockdown, Priti Patel told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "Police have done that, let's be very clear about this.

"Throughout this coronavirus pandemic, during the last lockdown, the police have been asking individuals why are they out and about and should they be out and about, when the message right now is stay at home."

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She added: 'We saw the number of cases of coronavirus yesterday - 62,000. Tragically over 1,000 people have died. That is one of the highest numbers since last April.

"We are in the thick of this shocking virus at the same time when we are trying to roll out a vaccination programme so it is right that we have these stringent measures and personally I think everyone has been incredibly responsible.

"Everyone has a responsibility to follow the rules and I think the British public will continue to do that."

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The home secretary said more than 800 fines have been issued in the past two weeks for 'egregious' breaches of restrictions.

Officers have been told to issue fines more quickly to 'anyone committing obvious, wilful and serious breaches'.

Fixed penalty notices of £200 will be issued for a first offence. This will double for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, lockdown, News, Coronavirus, Covid-19

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Gregory Robinson

Gregory is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, he has worked for both print and online publications and is particularly interested in TV, (pop) music and lifestyle. He loves Madonna, teen dramas from the 90s and prefers tea over coffee. Get in touch [email protected]