Police today started stopping cars to ask where people are going and to decide if their journeys are “ essential, ” as they are enforcing Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lock after a shock poll showed millions of British people are breaking the rules.
North Yorkshire police said it will now use unannounced checkpoints to stop vehicles and order drivers to reveal details of their travels as Devon does the same as the Home Office prepare to announce new sweeping powers for officers to help them to break public meetings.
Those powers likely include the option of forcing people to go home as a last resort if they don’t listen to the police or disregard a £ 30 fine.
Police patrols have also started stopping train travelers in Swansea to ensure their journey is “essential.”
The use of travelers checks led to fierce criticism from civil liberties groups, with police officers now seemingly tasked with deciding how important a person’s journey is amid reports that dog walkers are told to go home after going to a public place driven to practice.
Nicola Sturgeon seemed to anticipate the official announcement from the Home Office when she outlined her plans for the police in Scotland over lunch, where people who refuse to abide by the ban on groups’ made to return home will see to turn’.
It is not the first time that the Scottish Prime Minister has dealt with a coronavirus problem for the UK government after doing the same in outlawing large gatherings to ease pressure on emergency services and school closings.
Members of the public have been urged by Andy Cooke, the chief commissioner of Merseyside Police, to report large gatherings as authorities take action to enforce the Prime Ministers’ message to ‘stay at home’.
Mr. Cooke said he would “expect” people to report large groups, but not to bother officers if “two or three people were at the end of the road.”
The apparent need for new police powers to cut rallies was illustrated by reports that officers were being called up for friends for barbecues, house parties, and football matches.
It came when a new survey was conducted for ITV’s Peston program, suggesting that nearly six million people in the UK are continuing their daily lives as fears that the spring sun could tempt even more to ignore the rules is normal .
Mr Johnson’s closure means that people should only leave their home for food, medicine, exercise, or to go to work if it is “absolutely necessary.” Group meetings of more than two people are also prohibited.
But the survey found that seven percent of the British still go out to see friends, eight percent do “non-essential errands” and five percent wash their hands no more than usual.
Meanwhile, six percent of people – about three million – continue to hug others and shake hands, despite warnings this will increase the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
It came as:
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak will finally unveil today a coronavirus bailout for millions of affected self-employed workers.
- One of the The government’s best advisers said the British epidemic will worsen before it gets better, but could peak at Easter.
- Dyson has received an order of 10,000 fans from the government, as long as the machines pass initial tests.
- Retailer Boots begged people not to put up demanding tests because it hasn’t received one yet.
- Royal assistants tried to track down everyone who met Prince Charles in the past two weeks after he tested positive for the disease.
- The latest coronavirus figures for the UK showed 9,529 positive tests and a death toll of 465.
Devon police have started to check whether drivers are on essential trips or whether they are ignoring the government’s plea to stay at home
Officers in Plymouth were pictured today guiding traffic to a clear checkpoint to talk to motorists about their plans
The police are told today how to disperse groups of people. Depicted is a PCSO tearing apart a game of football among young people in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside
An investigation for ITV’s Peston program found that millions of people are not complying with government lockdown measures
Coronavirus tracker app suggests that more than six million people in the UK may be infected
An app that tracks people’s coronavirus symptoms in their own home has revealed that more than 6.6 million people in the UK could have gotten the infection already.
Created by scientists at King’s College London, the COVID Symptom Tracker was downloaded approximately 650,000 times in the first 24 hours after its launch on Tuesday.
Today it was signed by 1.25 million people and has become the third most popular download in the UK App Store, with around 50,000 new users per hour.
Analysis of the first 650,000 users found that 10 percent of them had symptoms of the coronavirus, which causes fever, cough, and fatigue.
UK health authorities do not test anyone for the virus unless they are in the hospital, so the app could be one of the clearest pictures of how many people are sick.
If the infection rate of one in ten people is applied to the UK population of 66 million, it could mean that 6.6 million or more have had the disease that has hid the world.
The government expects the “overwhelming majority” of people to adhere to the closure measures, but it strengthens police powers to ensure that the agents have the tools they need to enforce the rules, worried that some people will groups could continue to meet.
North Yorkshire police said her agents will now stop motorists to ask them where they are going, why they are going there, and remind them of the message to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Assistant Chief Superintendent Mike Walker said, “The new and important restrictions that the Prime Minister announced Monday evening make it very clear what we must do to save lives. The message is clear and the warning sharp. Stay home, save lives.
“These are the lives of the people we know and love. Our partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents.
“You may never again be in a position where your simple actions will lead directly to saving lives.”
Police said the checkpoints will be unannounced and may appear anywhere, anytime with other constabularies expected to follow now.
Meanwhile, the Avon and Somerset police have apparently told people that they are not allowed to drive anywhere to walk dogs or exercise because of the government’s ban on all non-essential travel.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak today unveils a major bailout for the self-employed
Rishi Sunak will finally unveil a coronavirus rescue operation today for millions of affected self-employed workers – with signs that they can receive cash payments of up to £ 1,700 per month.
A week after the announcement of a sizeable rescue package for workers, the Chancellor will continue to prevent those who work for themselves and fall into poverty in the ‘gig’ economy through the ‘social distancing’ of the government.
Boris Johnson said yesterday that the new proposals will provide “parity” with the eye-pleasing measures already proposed to protect other parts of the workforce.
It is speculated that around two million workers could benefit, possibly at a rate of 80 percent of the net income they reported on previous tax returns, up to a maximum of £ 1,700 per month.
Unlike the employee bailout, which is provided through grants through companies, government money goes directly to individuals.
Aid is also expected to be resource-tested, with those earning over £ 50,000 not covered to prevent the system from being misused.
Corps officers reportedly distributed leaflets to dog walkers stating that “current government restrictions do not allow you to use your vehicle to travel to this location for practice.”
The document stated that the government states that people can exercise outside once a day and that “you should not drive to another location to do this.”
A Facebook user posted a photo of the leaflet saying, “I didn’t know you couldn’t drive somewhere to walk dogs.
“My husband got this from the Quarts Moor police and said they hoped they wouldn’t see him there.”
The dog walker’s advice is likely to cause confusion, as many who drive to a location to walk their pet will not get in touch with another person.
But the government will likely argue that its ban on anything but essential travel couldn’t be clearer.
Derbyshire police have also made a plea to people not to visit the Peak District during the closure, as it posted drone images on Twitter of people parking their cars and going for walks.
The force said in the video, “Walking your dog in the Peak District: Not essential.”
A spokeswoman for the Big Brother Watch civil liberties group said, “Members of the public should follow the advice of the government to protect themselves and others. It’s understandable why the police throw parties and barbecues, but demanding drivers giving travel details at road checkpoints is an exaggeration.
“It is not at all clear which police powers are used for this. It is vital that we protect public health and that we also protect basic democratic standards. Arbitrary surveillance will not help the country fight this pandemic. ‘
It came when Mr. Cooke, speaking on his first working day after contracting the virus himself, said that members of the public should be “sensible” when it came to reporting people’s gatherings.
When asked what people should do when they see a meeting of dozens of people, he told The Times, “ We would expect people to call us … [but] would encourage them to be sensible.
“If you have two or three people at the end of the road, we don’t have to say that.
“The great thing is that we check with permission. Staff are instructed to encourage, convince, and interact with people. The use of powers is a last resort. ‘
Mr Cooke said that 12 percent of his staff are currently ill or self-insulating – a figure likely to be replicated with other forces across the country, illustrating the challenge regarding the resources that the shutdown could pose.
Police broke out of a house party in Coventry in the early hours of this morning, where a dozen partygoers ignored the ban on social gatherings of more than two people. Eight of them were ‘removed’ and sent home.
That incident followed the neighborhood police officers from the West Midlands police who had to disperse a crowd of 20 people who gathered on Tuesday for a barbecue in the Foleshill area of the same city earlier this week.
Police have already started applying their own methods of dispersing groups, with Manchester police reportedly using sirens and a loud megaphone, while officers in Leicester are using drones.
The West Midlands police echoed similar sentiment to Mr Cooke, saying that people should only “advise us if there are widespread violations involving a large number of people coming together.”
Anthony Stansfeld, the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, reportedly said he did not think it was necessary to “report to the police.” He said it should only take place under the ‘most extreme conditions’.
Joggers are going for a run in the morning sun in a London park today, while the prime minister warned the British to stay at home
A lady is running through daffodils in Sefton Park in Liverpool after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a British shutdown
People lined up in front of a Morrisons supermarket in Canning Town, East London this morning
It was because the government planned to empower the police in England to use force to make people go home during the closure.
More details on the officers’ approach are expected to be released later today, but are believed to be instructed to follow a four-point plan.
That plan is likely to initially put them in touch with people outside, then explain to them the terms of the closure, and then encourage them to go home.
Only then would they take enforcement action, starting with the imposition of a fine.
According to The Guardian, the government could allow the police to use reasonable force as a last resort if people fail to comply with the fine.
Mrs. Sturgeon announced something similar to the police in Scotland.
“The rule now is that you should be outside for a reasonable purpose only, buy food or essential household or medical supplies, go to work or do essential work, exercise once a day, or care for or help others ‘, she said. at a press conference over lunch.
“And those who are found not to act in accordance with the regulations may be directed to return home or to return home.
“They may also be subject to prohibitions and if people do not follow the prohibitions or instructions to return home, they may be fined on the spot and eventually prosecuted if necessary.”
Fines start at £ 30, but Downing Street has said it will rise significantly if it turns out to be an insufficient deterrent.
Failure to pay the fine leads to a lawsuit and a criminal record. People have 14 days to pay.
It is thought that children can be brought in groups to their parents, but it is unclear whether they will be fined and whether it is up to their parents to pay.
Concerns have been expressed about what the enforcement of the lockdown could mean for the relationship between the police and the public.
Stephen White, Acting Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, said, “We don’t want to have a society when you walk out the door, there’s a cop saying,” Where are you going? ”
Mr White said that the application of the new powers would become a ‘minefield’ because he asked on what grounds fines would be imposed and how the use of the powers would be monitored.
Government adviser says British coronavirus epidemic could peak around Easter
One of the government’s top coronavirus advisers said the UK epidemic will worsen before it gets better, but its peak passes at Easter.
Professor Neil Ferguson added that about a third of people who die from the disease can be considered healthy.
But he believes the NHS can now handle the outbreak thanks to the nationwide lockdown introduced this week.
He said to the BBC, “All I would say is that now that the lockdown is in place, those numbers will start to level off. The challenge we have is that there is a delay.
“The people who are now hospitalized were infected one week, two weeks, sometimes even three weeks ago, so no doubt the following [or] two weeks is going to be very difficult. ‘
Sunny spring weather forecast for the next few days has led to warnings that people should abide by the lockdown.
Weather forecasters said that British people can enjoy the sun and temperatures above 60F, but only for their allowable daily exercise.
Forecasters said temperatures could hit 17C (63F) today. Predictor Bonnie Diamond told MailOnline that the Met Office is repeating government advice and urging people to stay indoors.
She said, “Spring is in the air and there is a lot of sun – at other times we would have enjoyed this more than was possible at this time.
“But we are repeating the advice of NHS England and the government – exercise safely once a day – it is fun and it is sunny and we can enjoy that exercise, but please exercise a safe social distance.”
About the forecast, she said, “It was a wonderful week for England and Wales. Today it is generally cloudy in Scotland and Northern Ireland to begin with. But for the whole of England and Wales, the weather will be a clear and sunny day with maximum temperatures of 16C or 17C.
Tomorrow will be a similar story – some cloud cover for Northern Ireland and Central and South Scotland, but otherwise bright and sunny with temperatures of 13C or 14C – another bright sunny spring day.
Last night, a shock survey for ITV’s Peston program found that seven percent of the British still go out to see friends, eight percent do ‘non-essential shopping’ and five percent have stopped washing their hands.
The survey also found that six percent continue to hug others and shake hands, and that about 11 percent of people still go to public places.
An estimated 33 percent are storing and ignoring pleas from supermarkets to save goods for the elderly, vulnerable workers, and NHS employees.
Another eight percent (5.8 million) will continue to buy goods if not absolutely necessary, and seven percent will meet people outside the immediate family they live with, according to the JL Partners survey.