Thursday, 21 Jan 2021

Black Friday shoppers from England banned from entering Wales by stop-checks

Extra powers have been handed to police for random checks on vehicles in Cardiff after shoppers last weekend travelled from locked-down England.

South Wales Police say their additional powers are designed to stop people breaking coronavirus rules to visit the Welsh capital, Wales Online reports.

Officers will try to ensure only those allowed to do so will be in Cardiff's shops from 9am on Friday after chaotic scenes in the city last weekend.

Police believe people from other parts of the UK "migrated" into the Welsh capital to enjoy the freedom of open shops, restaurants and pubs which remained closed elsewhere.

Until lockdown is lifted on December 2, travelling outside of the country for non-essential reasons is forbidden by the government.

Welsh coronavirus rules also restrict travel from high-risk areas, which England is currently classed as.

As Black Friday approaches, police in the city are preparing themselves for a busy weekend of shoppers and pub-goers.

A spokesperson for the force said they were working with Cardiff Council and a range of other partners to ensure those visiting the city could do so safely.

They said they would be increasing the number of officers on duty and working jointly to encourage personal responsibility and ensure compliance with coronavirus restrictions in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.

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The additional powers to carry out random vehicle checks will be in place in Cardiff from 9am on Friday, November 27 to 5pm on Sunday, November 29.

Those found to be in breach of coronavirus legislation will face being fined and will be told to leave the city and return home.

Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Superintendent Jason Rees said: "The past few months have been difficult for us all, and with the rules having relaxed slightly, non-essential business re-opening 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.”

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