Following crowded scenes in London it has been announced that police will be asked to stop people fleeing Tier 4 areas with extra officers being deployed at railway stations to stop people travelling on “non-essential” journeys.
Police asked to stop people leaving Tier 4 areas say ministers: Non-essential travel has been prohibited indefinately from any area in Tier 4 in new measures announced on Sunday as well as households mixing, even over the Christmas period. Government minister Grant Schapps, who is responsible for travel, said “If you are in tier 4, the law means you must stay at home and you cannot stay overnight away from home. Across the rest of the country, you must stay local.
Follow the guidance and please do not come to a station unless you are permitted to travel. Extra BTP [British Transport Police] officers are being deployed to ensure only those who need to take essential journeys can travel safely.” Head of transport for Christmas, Sir Peter Hendy, said “At stations we will be deploying extra staff, announcements will make the law clear, and additional BTP officers are in place to ensure that only essential journeys take place.
People considering driving should also stay at home or stay local. The new restrictions mean that people should not travel into or out of tier 4 areas, and across the country you should stay local.” The Government’s announcement Saturday caused people to rush to London railway stations to get away and by 7pm no tickets left for sale online from Euston, King’s Cross or Paddington with footage posted on social media showing hundreds of people crowded in at St. Pancras station waiting for trains to Leeds.
Met Police said they will be paying particular attention to high footfall areas and those areas that show a high infection rate, with Commander Alex Murray saying “Across the city, officers will be deployed to take action against those people whose selfish action risks jeopardising the health of Londoners. Likewise, we will continue our joint enforcement with London’s 32 local authorities – clamping down on those businesses that also flout the rules and put health at risk.
Our fight against the virus is not over. The rules are very clear and our collective actions in the next two weeks will have a direct impact on how quickly our city will recover. If people ignore these new rules, make reckless decisions that risk lives, I make no apology for the subsequent enforcement action that will follow.” London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said while referring to the crowded scenes at stations “I understand why people want to return to see their mums, dads, elderly relations, but I think it’s wrong. Let me tell you why I think it’s a mistake either going yesterday or thinking about going today.
Yesterday, technically speaking, you may not have been breaking the rules but you may well have the virus and not realise you have got the virus. You may be taking that virus with you from London to your mum, dad, elderly relations. We now have a vaccine being rolled out, you can see light at the end of the tunnel. How are you going to feel if you pass the virus on to an elderly relation, somebody you love, whose life could well be long and fruitful because of the vaccine, who may catch the virus and, God forbid, lose their life?”
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