Police call for more powers to fine people driving to second homes

Police call for more powers to fine people driving to second homes or holiday lets and LAWS to limit exercise to once day before Easter weekend when temperatures are set to hit 77F

  • Officers create online forms for people to report potential breaches of lockdown 
  • At least five chief constables back more stringent restrictions and clearer rules
  • Police in Cornwall threaten to fine holidaymakers who try to enter area for Easter
  • Politicians set to launch Stay at Home This Easter campaign after Cobra meeting

Police chiefs are calling for laws to ban Britons from driving long distances and going out for exercise more than once a day ahead of a hot Easter weekend.

Officers have also created online forms for people to report potential breaches of the lockdown which was imposed on March 23 to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

At least five chief constables are said to be backing more stringent restrictions and clearer rules, including legislation to enforce the order to limit exercise.

Devon and Cornwall Police are threatening to fine holidaymakers and second home owners who try to enter the area for the Easter weekend and refuse them entry. 

The UK is preparing for at least another three weeks in lockdown with politicians set to launch a Stay at Home This Easter campaign following a Cobra meeting today.

A police traffic officers speaks to a group on the beach at Hastings in East Sussex yesterday

Police walk past members of the public enjoying the warm weather in Brighton yesterday

It comes after police in Greater Manchester revealed they attended 494 house parties and 166 street parties last weekend despite the ban on social gatherings. 

Some ministers have been hoping for no more than a two-week extension from the initial end date of April 16. But a minimum of three weeks is now much more likely. 

Police have also told the Government that road use in some areas last weekend was up nearly a tenth compared to the previous weekend, reported the Guardian. 

One unnamed police leader told the newspaper: ‘We need to say you can’t drive. The burden needs to be on the individual not the state to prove reasonableness.’

Another added: ‘There are still people coming down. People are still driving for a long time under the excuse of exercise and to places they do not need to be.

Police talk to a young mother in the sunshine at St James’s Park in London yesterday

A police officer wears a face mask and gloves outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London today

‘The Easter bank holiday is one of the busiest times of the year. I have no new powers for this weekend. There is a significant risk of people breaking the lockdown.’

Stars in Manchester unite for Easter ‘stay home’ campaign 

A selection of Manchester celebrities have shot home-made videos to urge people to stay at home over Easter because of the coronavirus.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Michael Carrick, Manchester City’s Steph Houghton, Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder and Coronation Street’s Dan Brocklebank have lent their support to the initiative, coordinated by Greater Manchester Police.

Boxer Anthony Crolla, Kyle Ross from the rock group Fuzzy Sun, and Lancashire county cricketer Keaton Jennings are also involved.

The videos, to be released across the long weekend, also feature key workers in the fight against Covid-19 including a nurse, a teacher, and police officers and staff.

The move comes after an increase last weekend in breaches of social distancing guidelines in the area.

‘Although the majority of the public across Greater Manchester have abided by the guidelines since they came into effect, last weekend saw a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 breaches reported to police,’ Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

‘Following this, high-profile voices from across Greater Manchester have joined together to support the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign to reinforce the importance of the Government message to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

‘Traditionally, Easter weekend sees increased activity in and around public spaces – including places of worship, beauty spots and town centres – as well as large gatherings of families and friends at residential properties.

‘This year celebrations will differ, as we continue to follow Government guidelines and stay at home in an effort to help limit the transmission of Covid-19.’

Police forces in Cambridgeshire, London, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Kent and Avon and Somerset have all brought in online services for the public to report potential breaches. 

Police forces in beauty spots across Britain have reported seeing visitors travel long distances from their homes to enjoy the recent warm weather.

People travelled far to spend time in Cumbria last weekend, while Malham Cove in North Yorkshire had visitors from Bradford, Leeds and Oldham – which is more than 50 miles away. 

In the South West, Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, police commander for Cornwall, warned the public to stay away from the area.

He said: ‘Our officers will be patrolling this weekend, firstly on the M5 and A30 in an attempt to prevent visitors from entering the force area, and then locally to enforce the restrictions.

‘We will do so in a fair and balanced manner, but travelling down to the West Country is a serious breach of these restrictions and those doing so can expect to receive a fine.’

Meanwhile a Cumbria Police spokesman said: ‘The Lake District is closed. Please do not travel to the lakes.’ And North Wales Police added: ‘If you are planning an Easter getaway, please note North Wales is closed to visitors.’

Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd in Snowdonia, said some tourists were trying to sneak in at night or use alternative roads to avoid detection.

Some are even just accepting a fine of £60 and driving onto their destination, with others sharing tips with each other on how to get in without police noticing.

She told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We have accounts of people with holiday homes sharing advice with each other to travel at night to avoid the police, and even the people who don’t care if they’re fined when they travel – they’ve set out and they want to arrive.

‘The police are doing the best they can with the resources available and they do ask local people who have any reports of people travelling to such accommodation to contact them via email or via webchat.’

Police in Greater Manchester revealed they attended 494 house parties and 166 street parties last weekend despite the ban on social gatherings [CLICK TO EXPAND]

Metropolitan Police officers were given free Easter eggs by staff at a Marks and Spencer store on the A127 at Havering in East London today. It comes a week after claims that over-zealous officers were trying to ban the items by classing them as “non-essential’ during the pandemic

It come as David and Victoria Beckham were criticised by locals for staying in the countryside at their second home in the Cotswolds during the lockdown.

Chef Gordon Ramsay also came under fire this week after relocating from London to Cornwall and regularly posting on Instagram from his £4million beachfront home.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley has said the force will now ramp up the enforcement of coronavirus regulations. Mr Adderley said the ‘three-week grace period is over’, and people could now face fines or a criminal record.

According to the police chief, a small number of people had been flouting the regulations – with some officers being ‘baited’ by members of the public.

He said the force may have to resort to more extreme measures such as road blocks and searching shopping trolleys should people continue to break the rules.

Speaking about the new approach, Mr Adderley said: ‘These are not guidelines anymore. This is the law. We haven’t issued any fixed penalty notices, but we have charged a number of people with Covid-related offences.

‘We’ve had examples of people sunbathing in the park, having barbecues in the park, we’ve had large gatherings of family members. To those people, I am saying ‘your time is up’.’

The virus lockdown is set to extend into May after the daily death toll surged to almost 1,000 yesterday. 

Easter weekend will get off to a warm start before cooling off 

Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall, said that the Easter weekend would get off to a warm start before gradually becoming cooler.

Temperatures could reach 24C (75F) or 25C (77F) in southern areas on Good Friday, with the risk of some showers in parts of Scotland, the North East and the Midlands by the afternoon.

The south will also be warm on Saturday, with conditions cooler elsewhere, and the risk of showers from mid-Wales northward as the day goes on.

On Easter Sunday temperatures will be cooler across the country and the focus of showers will be more on England and Wales.

By Monday temperatures will sink lower still, falling to around 14C (57F) or 15C (59F) in the South, with most places being drier.

Mr Miall said: ‘Despite the weather being tempting, the advice is to stay home and stay safe and remember to do that.’  

London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested a more stringent lockdown may follow, saying: ‘The Met Police will be busy patrolling parks and open spaces across London this weekend – urging Londoners to do the right thing and follow the rules.

‘I desperately want us to be able to keep our green spaces open for the millions of people that need them for essential walks and exercise – but that means everyone doing the right thing.’

Rishi Sunak confirmed last night that a planned review of the emergency measures will take place next week.

But, in a clear sign the restrictions will remain, the Chancellor said: ‘The priority is to stop the spread of the virus – and the best way to do that is to stay at home.’

One Government source said there was ‘no prospect’ of any easing of the lockdown next week.

Another said: ‘Look at the death toll. That puts the question of whether we’ll be lifting restrictions into context.’  

The Easter weekend is typically one of the busiest for the UK’s roads and tourist destinations.

But an AA survey has suggested that more than 20 million Easter getaway journeys will be scrapped this year as families abandon holiday plans.

Rail companies Northern and TransPennine Express have joined forces with the British Transport Police to launch a campaign reminding people it is ‘not acceptable’ to use services for leisure activities this weekend.

Police patrol the streets and the beach in Tynemouth last Saturday as the lockdown continues

Police move on sunbathers at Regents Park in London during the lockdown on Sunday

Train operators have introduced amended timetables to help key workers get around and those needing to make essential journeys.

Cornish locals report up to 650 second home owners and Airbnb tourists as they flock to rural areas in lockdown 

Hundreds of holiday lets and second home owners who have arrived in Cornwall ahead of the Easter weekend have been reported to the council.

Locals have highlighted some 650 cases of people ignoring the government’s lockdown orders in the past five days alone, according to The Times.

Since the nationwide measures to limit the spread of coronavirus were announced last month, the authorities have been stepping up efforts to deter day-trippers.

This includes police stopping cars and caravans on key routes into the area, such as the M5, as well as at service stations and beauty spot car parks.

Visitors spotted on coastal paths have also been quizzed by officers.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, told the newspaper some holiday accommodation owners were still trading but tourists using them have been told to return home.

‘The police are relying on unnecessary travel to stop the second home owners. They are going to ramp it up at the weekend,’ he said.

‘Locals are very anxious about people moving in next door to them.’

Most of the reports – made since the council asked for reports of lockdown rebels last Friday – have been about Airbnb rentals.

But they said passenger numbers ‘rose dramatically’ during last weekend’s good weather as some people ignored official advice and headed to the coast and beauty spots.

Superintendent Glen Alderson, of British Transport Police, said there would be an increased presence of officers at popular stations over the weekend to ensure people followed government advice.

Meanwhile, the National Trust also urged people to stay at home, with all its properties, gardens and beauty spots already closed during the nationwide lockdown.

In London, where good weather is predicted this weekend, people were reminded that the reduced service running on the capital’s transport network was there only for critical workers.

The number of people using Tube and rail services has plummeted by around 95%, while bus usage has fallen by around 85%, Transport for London said.

In Wales, first minister Mark Drakeford joined council leaders and emergency and health services in signing a letter addressed to the Welsh people urging them not to break lockdown rules.

They wrote: ‘These rules are there to protect you and your loved ones. For most people the virus will cause a mild illness, but there’s a large number of people – children, adults and grandparents – who are at risk of serious illness if they are exposed.’

In Northern Ireland on Wednesday, Stormont Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: ‘I’m asking all of you to stay at home, which will in turn help protect our families, friends, neighbourhoods and the wider public from this terrible virus.’ 

Meanwhile it has been claimed that gang rivalries have been ‘put on hold’ and violence has ‘stopped’ as members follow the lockdown rules.

Police stop to move on a couple with a pushchair on Primrose Hill in North London on Sunday

A police community support officer speaks with a member of the public in Brighton on Sunday

Sheldon Thomas, founder of the Gangsline Foundation Trust charity, told Sky News that county lines activity had dropped as police enforce the guidance.

Airbnb halts bookings in UK properties due to coronavirus crisis

Airbnb has blocked UK properties from accepting new bookings for the coming days unless they are for key workers.

The move comes after the accommodation site was criticised for advertising properties as suitable for guests to use to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm said it has stopped properties from receiving new bookings up to at least April 18.

An exception will be made for its initiative which offers free stays for NHS staff and paid or subsidised stays for other key workers exempt from the Government’s travel restrictions.

Last week, Airbnb blocked private room bookings and temporarily removed the ability for whole properties to be instantly booked.

He said ‘cuckooing’, which sees dealers take over vulnerable people’s homes as a base, has also dropped thanks to the social distancing measures brought in.

There were growing concerns last night over the economic impact of coronavirus as the World Trade Organisation warned of the ‘deepest recession in our lifetimes’. 

The British Chambers of Commerce warned that furloughing staff could cost taxpayers £50billion over the next three months. 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the PM, will hold a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee today to discuss the lockdown.

Mr Sunak said a UK-wide decision would not be taken until next week when the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies reports. He also admitted there would be economic ‘hardship ahead’.

Professor Stephen Powis of NHS England said the lockdown was working. But he added: ‘We have to continue following instructions, we have to continue following social distancing – if we don’t, the virus will start to spread again.’

Polling by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori showed nine out of ten people support the lockdown. 

Beckhams are slammed for staying at Cotswolds second home for coronavirus ‘selfie isolation’ as Cornish locals criticise Gordon Ramsay for moving to his £4m holiday mansion

By Vivek Chaudhury For Mailonline and Sean O’Grady For MailOnline 

David and Victoria Beckham have become the latest second home celebrities to face a backlash from locals for staying in the countryside during the coronavirus lockdown.

Chef Gordon Ramsay came under fire this week after relocating from London to Rock and regularly posting on Instagram from his £4million beachfront home.

Now people in the Cotswolds where the Beckhams have a £6million bolthole have spoken out against the former footballer and his family.

One woman who works at the butchers near their home in Great Tew, Oxfordshire, said: ‘The Beckhams and these other fancy folks who think it’s a good idea to self-isolate in the country are just being selfish.’

A local councillor added: ‘Showing off your beautiful country mansion on social media and telling us all what a wonderful time you’re having is just rubbing our noses in it. The Beckhams and other celebrities are just being stupid, irresponsible and insensitive.’

David Beckham is pictured out jogging in the Cotswolds after moving his family from London to their second home in Great Tew amid the coronavirus lockdown 

Other local workers said the famous couple would have to wait their turn at local shops while the vulnerable and elderly were served first.

The Beckhams left their London home to stay at their countryside property before the UK was put on lockdown on March 23.

Although they spend a lot of time there on a regular basis, they have been bombarding their followers with pictures and videos of enjoying a luxurious lockdown in their palatial surrounds.  

So many videos have been posted on their feeds that locals have branded their stay ‘selfie-isolation.’ 

Among those posted by Victoria was a video of Harper and Cruz tie-dying clothes in their large garden and another of Harper holding a tray of snacks in their ‘cinema’ room. 

On Tuesday, David filmed himself jogging around the country lanes near their rural home.

The Beckhams’ Cotswolds home is a Grade-II listed converted barn that boasts a natural swimming pond, sauna, hot tub, tennis court and a garden designed by Chelsea Flower Show winner Marcus Barnett. 

The two-acre site has been planted with 23 different kinds of trees and also has its own croquet lawn. 

Victoria, 45, posted this picture to her Instagram page to tell her followers that all of her brand’s employees are working from home 

One of Victoria’s Instagram posts shows Harper, eight, (left) enjoying some tie-dying with her older brother Cruz, 15 

Other posts have shown the Beckhams  (Harper, eight pictured) enjoying their home cinema

David, 44, Victoria, 45 are quarantining with their children, Romeo, 17, Cruz, 15 and Harper, eight, – while eldest son Brooklyn, 21, appears to be isolating with girlfriend Nicola Peltz, 25.

Joe Williams, 39, owner of a nearby village shop said: ‘Our business is up by 20 per cent and I’d say quite a lot of that is from people who’ve come from London to self-isolate in their second homes.

‘We have a lot of elderly and vulnerable people in this area and it doesn’t help that the Beckhams and other people like them have chosen to come here at this time. We need to look after the locals first, which is what we’re doing.’

Former firefighter Mr Williams revealed that his business is located in a 300-year-old building and that couples have been banned from shopping together to help maintain social distancing.

‘Even if Posh and Becks were to come here, one of them would have to wait outside. I’d serve elderly, local people first. We all have to pull together at a time like this, I don’t care who you are,’ he added.

Rachel Tingey, 53 who works in Hook Norton butchers, close to the Beckham’s home, said: ‘We’ve closed the shop but are incredibly busy delivering to our customers. We’re busier than ever and are making around 50 deliveries each day.

The former footballer is pictured with a #IStayHomeFor placard as part of a social media campaign encouraging people to stay indoors to protect the NHS and save lives

‘The Beckhams and these other fancy folks who think it’s a good idea to self-isolate in the country are just being selfish. And bragging about what fun they’re having is an insult to us all. 

‘There’s a lot of OAPs around here and they wouldn’t be able to survive without our meat deliveries. These are the people who are our priority, not these celebrities who shouldn’t be here in the first place.’

On Sunday, Victoria took to Instagram to showcase her salon skills, revealing she had shaved son Romeo’s hair, before dyeing youngest boy Cruz’s locks pink.

Other posts have shown the Beckhams enjoying their home cinema, cooking pizzas in a wood fired oven and Harper making a feast of ragu rigatoni and banana bread for the family.

A councillor for Great Tew, who did not want to be named, added: ‘The government’s advice is to stay in your primary home. Showing off your beautiful country mansion on social media and telling us all what a wonderful time you’re having is just rubbing our noses in it.

‘People are struggling with uncertainty over their jobs and money. The Beckhams and other celebrities are just being stupid, irresponsible and insensitive.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for the Beckhams for comment.  

Meanwhile Ramsay, 53, who is living in Cornwall with his wife and five children has posted videos in his kitchen, messing around with his children and getting ready to go for a cycle ride in Daymer Bay, nor far from his Trebetherick retreat.

Locals set up a Facebook group entitled You Shouldn’t Be Here in which one villagers said they wanted the chef to get ‘the hell out of Cornwall’.

Anger over the intrusion from well-heeled celebrities came as several councils warned other holiday homeowners to stay away during the Easter break.

Devon and Cornwall, two of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, issued a plea to second homeowners not to visit during the Easter holidays warning them that they would be reported to the police if they did. 

One angry local moaned on the Facebook page: ‘Wealthy second homers think making a few quid means they are immune from the virus and any rules. They are arrogant at this best of times, this has shown how bad some of them are.

Not happy: Furious residents have also slammed Gordon Ramsay for moving to his £4.4million mansion in Cornwall amid the coronavirus outbreak 

Another local accused the chef of flouting government orders to stay in his primary location.

They wrote: ‘He’s swanning around the shops as if nothing is wrong.’

The businessman recently admitted that his extended family time has proved to be anything but relaxing, as he’s constantly cooking for his sizeable brood.

In an interview with Capital FM’s Roman Kemp, the celebrity chef said: ‘Being stuck in my house with these five ravenous kids is a living nightmare. Can you please tell me when all of this will end?

Ramsay, who recently made more than 500 staff redundant after temporarily shutting down his restaurants, is staying there while another more lavish home he also owns is completed in nearby Rock.

Carol Mould, a Cornwall County councillor for the area, told MailOnline: ‘Tourism is Cornwall’s biggest earner, but these are exceptional times and you should only come here if your journey is essential.

Home: Villagers are worried Gordon may have brought the virus with him from London (Gordon’s property in Cornwall pictured under construction in 2015)

‘We have one hospital for the entire county and rural life is hard at the best of times. People, whoever they are, are probably thinking that Cornwall is a jolly nice place to be in at this time but my message to them is to stay in your primary home and please return once all this is over.’

The government’s advice specifically stages that ‘essential travel does not include visits to second homes’ and that ‘people must remain in their primary residence’

In a letter from Devon Council addressed to all second homeowners, states: ‘It is now an offence under Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, to leave the place where you are living without a reasonable excuse.

‘Travelling to your second home is not a reasonable excuse. To prevent the spread of the virus, where we have knowledge of second homeowners committing this offence, we will share that knowledge with the police.’

The letter says that Devon and Cornwall councils looks forward to seeing second home returning once the coronavirus lockdown is over. 

Upset: Nearby villages are reportedly furious with Gordon after he moved there with his family in order to isolate amid the ongoing pandemic 

The Telegraph also reported that North Devon MP Selaine Saxby had raised concerns with ministers about second home owners sneaking into their properties to get away.

She warned that local service could be swamped if people continue to flout the rules implemented by the UK government.

She said: ‘I am deeply disappointed at reports I have heard over the weekend of the ongoing arrival of second home owners over the cover of darkness across the country to avoid roadblocks and I’ve raised this matter directly with the police’.

So far in the UK there have been 6,159 deaths and over 55,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. 

London has been hardest hit by the outbreak with 1,353 deaths and over 11,000 cases.

Gordon, his wife Tana and their five children have been residing on the Cornish coast since the outbreak began. 

Having fun? The TV chef has been sharing several TikTok videos with his children as they self-isolate in the idyllic tourist location 

Food-themed: In March, Gordon posted a video with daughter Tilly, 18, as he joked the food-themed dance could inspire some new recipes as millions around the world self isolate

The TV chef has been sharing several TikTok videos with his children as they self-isolate in the idyllic tourist location. 

In March, Gordon posted a video with daughter Tilly, 18, as he joked the food-themed dance could inspire some new recipes as millions around the world self isolate.

The star mastered the TikTok routine, which has been viewed more than two million times, to the song ‘juice, sauce and a little bit of dressing.’

With Tilly giggling by his side, the father of five, was deep in concentration as he got to grips with the moves, before gleefully high fiving his daughter at the end.

Gordon also shared a TikTok video of son Oscar, 12-months, crawling out of the family’s dog flap to chase one of his play balls he lost. He added the song Who Let The Dogs Out by Baha Men.  

TikTok: Gordon also shared a TikTok video of son Oscar, 12-months, crawling out of the family’s dog flap to chase one of his play balls he lost.

Busy: Gordon recently admitted that his extended family time has proved to be anything but relaxing, as he’s constantly cooking for his sizeable brood (pictured with Tana and son Oscar)

On Saturday, the star had much to celebrate as the family marked his baby son Oscar’s first birthday.

Adorable tot Oscar featured in a slew of snaps posted by his siblings to mark the occasion, including one from the chef himself with his little boy. 

In his snap, Gordon had Oscar happily perched on top of his head, with the caption reading: ‘Happy Happy 1st Birthday to this little Boy have a great day Oscar love you Daddy.’

The TV star’s wife Tana shared an equally sweet post of little Oscar in makeshift den at their home, along with a gushing post to mark his birthday.

She penned: ‘Happy happy 1st Birthday little man x this year has flown by and we are just so grateful to share it with you – our absolute joy x have the best day little one x.’ 

Sweet: Gordon’s son Oscar has celebrated his first birthday, and his family marked the occasion with a slew of adorable social media snaps

Gordon’s daughter Megan, 22, shared a slew of snaps with her little brother, displaying his array of cute expressions.

She wrote: ‘Happiest happiest 1st birthday to my little best friend no idea where a year has gone but all I know is that you make everyday amazing and we all love you so much.’

Tilly, 18, shared her own heartwarming image from a family holiday with little Oscar in her arms, as she wrote: ‘Happy 1st birthday to the best. I love you so much.’ 

Gordon revealed last month that he would be doing his part to help stop the spread of the disease by shutting all 13 of his UK restaurants in line with government orders.

Posting a statement on social media, Gordon wrote: ‘To all our Gordon Ramsay family, friends and colleagues. 

Cute: The TV chef shared one with his son perched on his head to mark the occasion during the coronavirus lockdown

‘In this time of great uncertainty, we hope that you all are looking out for each other and staying as safe as possible.

‘As the situation changes daily out focus has to be on the health and safety of our employees, guest and community and to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, from Saturday 21st March 2020, all our London restaurants will temporarily close.’

He added: ‘Whilst we don’t know when we will re-open, what we do know is by supporting each other through this terribly challenging time, we will come through this stronger than ever!’

‘Huge love and thanks to our amazing staff across the restaurants for all their passion and support. I truly hope we are all back together very soon. Gordon.’  

Adorable: Gordon’s wife Tana shared her own lovely image of Oscar dressed in a cute white baby grow in a makeshift den

Cuddles: Gordon’s daughter Megan, 22, posted a gallery of snaps from Oscar’s first year along with a gushing caption describing as ‘her little best friend’

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