Seal-spotting Wellingborough couple fined during 260-mile lockdown trip

The pair admitted they were keen to see the seaside town's famous seals

Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:49 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:50 pm
Every year between November and January, seals gather on the Norfolk beaches

A couple from Wellingborough who made a 260-mile round trip to visit a Norfolk beauty spot have been fined.

Amid spiralling case rates of Coronavirus, on Monday the government imposed an immediate lockdown and warned people to stay at home and not make any unnecessary journeys.

But yesterday (Thursday, December 7) a pair from Wellingborough decided to set off for Horsey in Great Yarmouth to see the area's famous seals.

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Norfolk police officers carrying out patrols around 4pm approached the couple in the beach car park after vehicle checks revealed it was registered to an address outside of the county.

The man and woman, both aged in their 50s, admitted they had travelled to see the seals and were consequently issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Julie Wvendth, said: “The ‘stay at home’ rule is clear; you should only leave your home for a reasonable excuse such as food shopping, caring for someone who is vulnerable and for one form of exercise a day. If you do need to leave home for any of these reasons, you should stay local.

“The government have outlined that staying local means staying in the village, town or part of the city where you live. It’s our responsibility to adhere to this no matter how tempting it is to travel for a change of scene.

“Contrary to reports on social media, we are not carrying out road blocks to check the reasons for people travelling. Officers will use their discretion, as they routinely do in the course of their duties, when dealing with people who have travelled away from their home. We will be proportionate in our approach but if we find people are blatantly breaking the rules, we will issue fines.

“We are almost a year into this pandemic; people know the rules and the risks associated with breaking them, so people do not have any excuse for not knowing what is expected.”