Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020

Lockdown? What lockdown? Trains and roads busy despite new restrictions

The national lockdown started today, but from some of the pictures of the transport network you wouldn’t know it.

Platforms at Waterloo were busy with train commuters, while the roads were also clogged with traffic on the way into London.

As part of the new restrictions in England, which last four weeks, people have been asked to work from home where possible but if they cannot do so they are allowed to come into work.

Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops have closed their doors and members of the public have been told to stay at home for the next four weeks in a bid to reverse the spread of Covid-19.

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Although Waterloo was not jam-packed and people were wearing masks as they have been asked to do, there were enough people in places to make social distancing difficult.

The aim of the national lockdown is to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said law enforcement will continue the approach of ‘policing by consent’ to try to get the public to comply with the new lockdown.

An expansion of the number of Covid-19 marshals in local communities will also represent a ‘twin-track’ approach to getting people to obey the regulations, he said.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Buckland said: ‘Where a more intense intervention is needed, then the police will be involved and of course the fine structure is still in force.’

Currently there is a £200 fine for every breach, which doubles with every offence up to a maximum of £6,400, as well as £10,000 for large gatherings.

‘Because we have sensibly calibrated these regulations to adjust for the experience we had last time, the public can expect, where there are egregious breaches, the police will intervene and the law will take its course,”‘he said.

Mr Buckland said he supported clamping down on the ‘tiny minority’ of people who are not willing to obey the lockdown.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether he supported police in their warning that they would ‘deal severely’ with rule-breakers, he said: ‘I do. The fines system is clear, it is already working.

‘There will be increased fines for repeat offenders.’

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