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No escape! The Wales police have set up checkpoints to question drivers on important journeys


Police in Wales have set up checkpoints to ask drivers if they are making important journeys, while the armed forces in England have vowed to turn around drivers who have no good reason to cross the border.

Wales on Friday imposed a strict 17-day ban on "fire breakers" banning people from leaving their homes except for exercise, buying staples or supplies.

Despite different rules in England under the three tier system, avid police forces in the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire border counties have promised to set up their own stops to interview drivers leaving the principality.

Train passengers are also subject to strict controls, as the UK traffic police made clear on Twitter, warning that "those who believe the rules do not apply to them and break them selfishly should worry about being spoken to by us ".

Police have posted pictures of themselves to the beat, the Carmarthenshire and Powys forces tweeted pictures of their roadblocks, and UK traffic police have also posted photos of officers moving train cars up and down.

Police in Carmarthenshire, Wales, are carrying out spot checks on drivers after the 'fire safety' lockdown has been initiated

The British North Wales Traffic Police department sparked anger at this tweet, reminding people that they will be checking trains

The British North Wales Traffic Police department sparked anger at this tweet, reminding people that they will be checking trains

The British North Wales Traffic Police have posted many times on Twitter how they are enforcing the lockdown

The British North Wales Traffic Police have posted many times on Twitter how they are enforcing the lockdown

After the outcry over their tweets about checking trains, they made a series of tweets to "get a few things straight" that laid the basic foundation for the rules

After the outcry over their tweets about checking trains, they made a series of tweets to "get a few things straight" that laid the basic foundation for the rules

Despite the draconian travel ban, traffic flows freely across the border in Chepstow on Sunday

Despite the draconian travel ban, traffic flows freely across the border in Chepstow on Sunday

An unmarked police car in Powys, Wales monitors the road to look for important journeys

An unmarked police car in Powys, Wales monitors the road to look for important journeys

When the tough rules apply across the country, Dyfed-Powys police "escorted" a Sussex family who had traveled to Wales for more than five hours.

The family was stopped on the A40 near Whitland in Carmarthenshire on Friday morning before being "properly advised and guided out of the country".

A message posted on social media by Carmarthenshire Police Department read: “Early in the morning, a Sussex family was stopped on the A40 in Whitland.

& # 39; While aware of the national lockdown, they traveled over 5 hours for no substantial reason. The inmates were given appropriate advice and taken out of the district. & # 39;

Not essential or essential? What we know about which goods are banned in Wales' fire safety

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that non-essential items will not be allowed to be sold during the country's fire lockdown.

To date, the Welsh Government has not published a public list of the goods.

The supermarkets also didn't respond if they were given specific instructions on what they couldn't sell.

However, it appears that these items cannot be sold during the 17 days of restrictions:

  • Hairdryer
  • Stationary
  • water heater
  • Other kitchen items like microwaves and toasted sandwich makers
  • Phone chargers
  • Duvets
  • leaves
  • Electrical products
  • Scented candles
  • clothes
  • Children's toys
  • Towels and pillows
  • Wrapping paper

BTP North Wales has been heavily criticized after posting a picture of their officials speaking to people on a train with the caption, “We are checking if your trip is essential! Stay at home! & # 39;

They've since deleted the picture but stood by their actions and said, "Right people – the last tweet generated a ton of comments, so let's get a few things straight."

It then explains that Wales is under lockdown. You shouldn't be left without a reasonable excuse. It is our job to enforce the applicable regulations. We did this during the previous lockdown as well. & # 39;

Despite the ambitious police force, the vast network of roads across the 160-mile limit makes enforcement nearly impossible, and traffic was shown flowing freely across the border in Chepstow on Sunday.

There were also no signs of checkpoints on main roads into Wales today – despite police statements that officers were patrolling the border to reinforce the closure.

The Gloucestershire Constabulary said it would stop people from England and encourage them to turn around if they were not satisfied with their explanation.

But there was no evidence of enforcement on four roads into Wales this afternoon as traffic flowed freely across the border.

The A40, A466, A4136 and B4521 were not manned by the authorities despite the latest "fire protection" regulations.

And some businesses in Ross-on-Wye, one of the first big places across the border in England, said they had barely seen a drop in visitor numbers.

However, others said they have been less busy since the "fire protection" that went into effect at 6pm on Friday.

The market town is a regular destination for day-trippers from Wales.

While not a single police car was seen on the A40, A466, A316 or B4521, which drove both into and outside Wales, traffic was particularly heavy on the A40, which runs through the center of Monmouth.

In Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, some shop workers said they had seen little decline in business since the new Welsh restrictions.

Siobhan Wilks, 48, who works in a Cancer Research UK store in town, said, “We haven't lost a business, no. [But] we used to go on a lot of bus trips, and we didn't get any of that.

“But there is no less going on today, which is surprising. Saturday was very busy. & # 39;

Meanwhile, Rob Vidler, 30, the son of the owner of the King & # 39; s Head Hotel, said: “Usually it's day trippers [here] and weekend vacations. It was fine for October – it was normal.

“At this time of year we don't expect [many] people to come anyway. It would normally fall off.

“We have a lot of customers from Wales – Monmouth is the closest town – who go out for a drink. It was ok. & # 39;

However, Karl Henton, 49, the landlord of the King Charles II pub, said he has seen business decline since the "fire broke out".

He said, “When we opened in July, before [Wales] opened, it was manic. It was very busy.

“I half expected it to be the same yesterday – but it could have been the bad weather.

& # 39; The & # 39; Fire burst 'didn't help us. This is the first major city across the border. We would expect [people] to be here.

"But it's not that people stay in the moment."

This week police revealed extraordinary plans to patrol the line to prevent families from crossing for a half-time vacation.

Officials said they were trying to prevent caravans from sneaking into England from Wales and preventing Welsh motorists from defying "power-mad" orders from Prime Minister Mark Drakeford to make "non-essential" trips.

A caravan that enters Wales in Chepstow on Sunday afternoon, despite strict rules for important travel

A caravan that enters Wales in Chepstow on Sunday afternoon, despite strict rules for important travel

Officials in Carmarthenshire have put a roadblock in place for drivers entering the city

Officials in Carmarthenshire have put a roadblock in place for drivers entering the city

First Minister Mark Drakeford speaks at a press conference in Cardiff, off Wales, and enters a two-week "fire break" suspension at 6pm on Friday

First Minister Mark Drakeford speaks at a press conference in Cardiff, off Wales, and enters a two-week suspension at 6pm on Friday

Gloucestershire Police announced an operation covering stretches from Wales into the Forest of Dean where officials would prevent motorists from traveling to England to find out what they were doing.

Drivers would be encouraged to turn around and return to Wales if officials "are not satisfied with their explanation," a spokesman said.

If they refuse, the police will notify the armed forces in Wales so they can impose fines.

Anyone breaking the rules in Wales can be fined up to £ 10,000. Penalties start at £ 60.

However, since Friday when they crossed the border on the A494 in Queensferry and on the A5445 between Chester and Wrexham, drivers have been seen breaking the new restrictions.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “While we cannot fine those who travel to the county from Wales, we can inform the hosts of those we are stopping to see what happened so they can take action can.

Officials will be conducting an operation covering stretches from Wales into the Forest of Dean starting tomorrow and over the weekend. If we prevent someone from traveling from Wales we will work with them to find out why, explain the legislation and encourage them to turn around if we are not satisfied with their explanation.

A sign can be seen in a Tesco store in Penarth, Wales, telling customers that they cannot purchase "non-essential" items

A sign can be seen in a Tesco store in Penarth, Wales, telling customers that they cannot purchase "non-essential" items

A shop in Penarth, Wales, covers household electrical products with plastic wrap as supermarkets prohibit the sale of non-essential items

A shop in Penarth, Wales, covers household electrical products with plastic wrap as supermarkets prohibit the sale of non-essential items

In a Tesco store in Penarth, Wales, bookcases are covered in plastic as supermarkets are banned from selling non-essential items

In a Tesco store in Penarth, Wales, bookcases are covered in plastic as supermarkets are banned from selling non-essential items

A sign advises customers that items that are classified as "non-essential" by the Welsh Government will not be available for purchase

A sign advises customers that items that are classified as "non-essential" by the Welsh Government will not be available for purchase

A sign next to Captain Tom Moore's autobiography advises customers that they are not allowed to purchase "non-essential" items

A sign next to Captain Tom Moore's autobiography advises customers that they are not allowed to purchase "non-essential" items

Household electrical goods are covered with plastic wrap in a Tesco store in Penarth today

Household electrical goods are covered with plastic wrap in a Tesco store in Penarth today

"Then if they don't turn around, we will notify the force that is monitoring the area from which they have traveled so that they can issue a fine.

"It's important to stress that the vast majority of people abide by the rules, but in line with our police approach, we will take action when there are obvious violations."

Welsh ministers announced today that they are planning another lockdown for "fire breakers" after Christmas – admitting that the "trolley police" ban on stores selling non-essential goods is not working properly.

Although the imposition had only been in effect since Friday, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Lee Waters urged people to prepare for a retry in January or February.

The warning came when Mr Drakeford signaled that a U-turn on the ban on stores selling non-essential goods was imminent. He realized that the public was "fed up" and needed "common sense".

A backlash has picked up speed, with the confusion that alcohol is considered "essential" but school uniforms, vacuum cleaners and hair dryers are not.

Supermarkets have actively taped the shelves of ordinary goods, blocked entire aisles or covered them with plastic.

However, critics have called the move "insane," saying the only person to benefit from it is Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, as shoppers only shop online instead.

Whole areas of supermarkets have been closed according to restrictions imposed by Welsh ministers

Whole areas of supermarkets have been closed according to the restrictions imposed by the Welsh ministers

Retailers have been told to sell only essentials, and so many supermarket aisles are cordoned off and products covered up

Retailers have been told to sell only essentials, and so many supermarket aisles are cordoned off and products covered up

Items such as children's clothing are being covered up in a Cardiff supermarket today "according to government guidelines"

Items such as children's clothing are being covered up in a Cardiff supermarket today "according to government guidelines"

The Welsh Government has also not been able to clarify which goods are classified as "essential". Instead, one minister said he hoped retailers had an "adult understanding".

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Welsh government to lift the ban, which it has described as "disproportionate and cruel".

And last night, Mr Drakeford tweeted, “Thank you for all of your efforts over the past 24 hours to stay home. We know people are fed up.

“It's not easy, but we all have a responsibility to stop the virus from spreading.

“We're going to check how the weekend went with the supermarkets and make sure that common sense is being used.

“Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in another store that doesn't have to close. In the meantime, please only leave the house if you need it. & # 39;

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething suggested that the review investigate why the rules were not being applied consistently.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: “We are checking with supermarkets for understanding, clarity and guidelines as there have been different uses in different parts.

“We all need to take a step back and remember why fire safety was put in place to see that it is difficult for a lot of people, but we are in a week where there have been 61 deaths here in Wales.

“About a month ago there were only six deaths in a week, so the coronavirus is taking off. We see more people losing their love. & # 39;

He said the Welsh government worked with supermarkets on the ban and discussed what items would be affected.

"We will speak to them again on Monday so everyone understands what position we are in to clarify," said Gething.

Union leader Drakeford has been criticized for banning non-essential sales during the lockdown on the "fire break" and tweeted last night that people were "fed up".

Union leader Drakeford has been criticized for banning non-essential sales during the lockdown on the "fire break" and tweeted last night that people were "fed up".

On today's BBC Andrew Marr show, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething suggested that the Wales review examine why the rules were not being applied consistently

On today's BBC Andrew Marr broadcast, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething suggested that the Wales review look into why the rules are not being consistently applied

& # 39; It's also about reducing the opportunity for contacts. That's what we're really trying to do – we're asking people to stay home to have a life. This is really exactly where we are. & # 39;

On the Sunday supplement on BBC Radio Wales, Waters said: "The projections and papers we published on our worst-case scenario predictions show that it is likely that we will need another fire in January or February."

He said the first and second lockdowns came too late and cases and deaths are rising again.

“We're doing our best to smooth the curve. We can't stop the curve, we can't stop the virus from spreading. Our best hope is to wait for a vaccine to get it under control. & # 39;

An additional 1,104 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in Wales today, bringing the total confirmed cases to 42,681.

Five more deaths have been reported, increasing to 1,777 in total, according to Public Health Wales.

HOW HAVE INFECTIONS CHANGED IN WALES?

Wales has pulled the trigger on a 17-day "fire safety" ban after the average daily infections more than tripled in a month.

The seven-day moving average, believed to be the most accurate measure of breakouts as it takes into account daily fluctuations, was 238 on September 23.

It currently stands at 894, as the analysis of the numbers from Public Health Wales shows.

The weekly infection rate per 100,000 in Wales has also increased by almost a quarter in one week.

It currently stands at 199.2 after rising from 160.6 last Friday.

The rate of 199.2 per 100,000 is significantly higher than Scotland's 161.2, but is still below England's 213.6.

Northern Ireland – the smallest population in the UK at 1.8 million – has the highest home country rate at 378.6.

To get a sense of how quickly the crisis has grown in Wales, only 3.7 cases per 100,000 per week were recorded in August, the lowest in the UK.

The nation's 761 new cases today bring the number of confirmed cases to 40,253.

A quarter of it was recorded in the past fortnight.

There have been 10,625 cases since Sept. 11 – although the real number is believed to be much higher because so many people are asymptomatic or untested.