By Zoe Kramer | Head of News
During the first 24 hours of random checks on vehicles in Cardiff, police have stopped 110 drivers. The total number rose to over 200 over the weekend.
From 9am last Friday, police officers in Cardiff were given the power to stop drivers in an effort to fine those individuals from outside Wales. This enforcement is intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to Wales from high-risk areas. Travel to and from England is currently discouraged and self-isolation is required for two weeks.
The “firebreak” lockdown ended on November 9th, reopening bars, restaurants and other businesses, a freedom which police suspect is being taken advantage of by those from outside of Wales.
These temporary extra powers, afforded under regulation 33 of the Health Protection restrictions, were given as a result of reports regarding groups who had travelled to Cardiff from regions where pubs and bars were closed.
Police reported handing out 12 fixed penalty notices, and issued a further 15 warnings to leave the city.
The individuals found in violation of these guidelines included travellers from Essex who were delivering Christmas presents, as well as a group looking to visit their friends at university.
Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Chief Superintendent Wendy Gunney said: “I would like to thank the vast majority of people who are enjoying their weekend with caution and within the confines of the existing regulations, but those not adhering to the rules are continuing to put others at increased risk.
“The measures which are in place are in place for a reason. Our checks will continue throughout the weekend, and anybody blatantly flouting the rules, which have been made very clear, face being fined.”
Cardiff has also seen a larger police presence as of late, with more officers being dispatched. Other fixed penalties have been issued over house parties and large gatherings breaking the current COVID-19 guidelines.
In regards to the police fine Supt Jason Rees said: “The past few months have been difficult for us all, and with the rules having relaxed slightly, non-essential business reopening and Christmas just around the corner, it’s understandable that people will want to get out and about and enjoy all our city has to offer.
“The vast majority are doing so with caution and within the confines of the existing regulations, but those not adhering to the rules are continuing to put others at increased risk.
“We are anticipating another busy weekend in our city centre, and while we will continue to adopt the policing style we have throughout the pandemic – working with the public to encourage voluntary compliance – we are committed to enforcing where blatant and flagrant breaches occur.”
Pubs and restaurants will be closing at 6 starting on Friday, the 4th of December, and alcohol will no longer be served at these establishments.