More than 50 tourists were stopped as police launched a covid crackdown in the Cotswolds. Officers spent the day on high visibility patrols in the villages popular with tourists. And they issued fines and sent people home as they checked out tourists in Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden, Cirencester, Fairford/Lechlade, Moreton, Stow-on-the-Wold and Tetbury. All are popular with the tourists who flock from all over the world to see the traditional honey-coloured cottages and quaint high streets.
But Home Secretary Priti Patel has issued new guidance ordering police to come down hard on those who flout the Covid lockdown restrictions which tell people to only exercise within their local area. Officers have been told that those flouting the rules should be given one verbal warning and then a fine of £200.
On the first weekend of lockdown images appear to show that all although city centre streets across the country were deserted, families flocked to the countryside, beaches and parks to exercise. Officers, including mounted police on horseback, were out and about across Gloucestershire stopping people at the usual tourist hotspots.
Visitors to the Forest from Bristol and from Wales were told to return home by police today.
North Cotswolds Neighbourhood Policing Team tweeted: “A very proactive Sunday for North Cotswolds NPT Team 2.
“More than 50 tourists engaged with and many sent home, two cars seized for motoring offences and multiple tickets and fines handed out.”
Earlier officers said they found cannabis and over £2,000 in cash after stopping and searching a man in Trinity Road in Cirencester who later failed a drugs wipe of cannabis and cocaine. On Saturday they stopped a man acting in a suspicious manner on Chesterton Lane in Cirencester. He was searched and further enquiries revealed he did not have any insurance and tested positive for cocaine. It follows similar operations across the county as the police try to enforce the advice to stay at home.