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Driver fined for going to Cheddar Gorge to sit and eat a kebab in car

CHEDDAR, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Motorists drive through the Cheddar Gorge on March 22, 2012 in Cheddar, England. With only a few months to go until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, Britain's tourist industry is hoping to benefit from the influx of athletes, officials and visitors. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Only local people should be travelling to Cheddar Gorge for their daily exercise allowance (Picture: Getty)

Debate continues to rage among police forces over what qualifies as reasonable excuses for leaving your home during the third lockdown.

However, police in the South West felt that driving 20 miles to sit in a layby at a beauty spot to gorge on some meat was not within the rules.

And so they fined a motorist who went to Cheddar Gorge to sit in their car and eat a kebab.

On Saturday several people were ordered to leave the Somerset beauty spot and seven were fined for Covid-19 breaches.

Avon and Somerset Police tweeted sarcastically: ‘Travelling from Bristol to Cheddar to sit and eat kebabs in your vehicle is not a reasonable excuse! #staysafe.’

Under the current national coronavirus lockdown, people are once again being urged to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

While people travel from all over to visit the village of Cheddar and walk the gorge, people should only be going there if they are local.

The rules The coronavirus rules state: ‘You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes).

‘If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.’

Outdoor exercise is one of the ‘reasonable excuses’ listed by the government, as a reason to leave home.

However, the government advises: ‘This should be done locally wherever possible.

‘You can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space).’

Restaurants and cafes must close under the national lockdown, but takeaway food and drink and deliveries are still allowed.

Police have faced some criticism for being strict on enforcement.

Derbyshire Police had to defend itself after fining to women who had travelled across the county border, to go on a socially-distanced walk.

The force said the women could have exercised closer to their home addresses and said their actions were ‘clearly not in the spirit of the national effort’ to reduce travel.

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