People sat on park benches could be questioned by police, Government confirms
8 January 2021, 11:57
Priti Patel has suggested that police could move people along if they are sat on park benches amid the lockdown.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another national lockdown for England following a worrying spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
People are being told to stay at home, and to only leave the house for essential activities such as food shopping, medical help or for exercise.
And while walking or running around a local park is allowed during the third lockdown, it seems sitting down on a bench in the area is not.
New comments from Home Secretary Priti Patel suggest that people who sit on park benches could expect to be moved along or questioned by police.
During an interview with the BBC this week, when the Home Secretary was asked whether police should question people sitting on park benches, she replied: "Police have done that, let's be very clear about this."
Ms Patel continued: "Throughout this coronavirus pandemic, during the last lockdown, the police have been asking individuals why are they out and about and should they be out and about, when the message right now is stay at home.
"We saw the number of cases of coronavirus yesterday - 62,000. Tragically over 1,000 people have died. That is one of the highest numbers since last April."
She went on to say: "We are in the thick of this shocking virus at the same time when we are trying to roll out a vaccination programme so it is right that we have these stringent measures and personally I think everyone has been incredibly responsible.
"Everyone has a responsibility to follow the rules and I think the British public will continue to do that."
Over the Christmas period, more than 800 fines were issued for breaches of the Covid-19 rules.
Priti Patel said she believes it is "right" that "police act robustly."
Talking to Heart's sister station LBC, the Home Secretary told people that the Government's message is the same as it was back in the March lockdown.
"People should only be out and about for very, very limited reasons", she explained.