Five fined for Covid breach barbecue on snowy moors

Five adults have been fined £200 after they breached coronavirus regulations by holding a barbecue on snowy moors.

Durham Police said eight children, including a seven-month-old baby, were in the group of three households who drove more than 20 miles from Gateshead to Waskerley, above Consett.

Officers were called out at around 4pm on Thursday to find the group in below-zero temperatures and with the remnants of Storm Christoph still causing 40mph gusts.

Initially the adults said they had not done anything wrong but came to accept they were at risk of spreading Covid-19, as well as putting themselves and the emergency services in danger if they had crashed while travelling in the poor conditions.

The five adults were given £200 fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations and sent home with their children.

Superintendent Ritchie Allen, of Durham Constabulary, said: "The vast majority of people across our communities are sticking to the regulations and we would like thank them for thinking of others and doing their bit to keep everyone safe.

"However, some people are bending the rules and putting others at risk.

"While we know the stay at home guidance has been particularly challenging for many people, travelling to host a barbecue get-together with other households is not acceptable.

"Those in attendance risked not only their own lives but also those of others and could put extra pressure on an already struggling NHS.

"We would rather the public follow the rules than have to resort to issuing fixed penalty notices, but if we do get called to a blatant breach, we will look to issue fines to all those involved."