Leeds nursing and law students fined for breaking lockdown after driving to Filey for fish and chips
Students studying a mixture of law and nursing courses have been fined after driving from Leeds to Filey for fish and chips over the weekend.
The three nursing and three law students made the 130-mile round trip to have fish and chips on the beach.
They were fined by North Yorkshire Police for breaching lockdown rules.
It comes as the force has urged residents to stick to Covid regulations after they reported a three-fold increase in rule breaking over the past week.
Officers also fined 21 people in Scarborough £800 each after they were caught at a 40th birthday party over the weekend - which totals £16,800 in fines from the one gathering.
They also broke up a group of a nine friends from two households in Hull who met at Filey Country Park to have a barbecue.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said that officers were issuing fines to residents they wouldn’t normally encounter and who were previously unknown to the force.
The return of the rule of six meaning people will be allowed to mix outdoors including in private gardens is not scheduled until March 29 - but police said they have seen an increase in cases of outdoor mixing since the Prime Minister set out the roadmap to restrictions ending.
The force has warned that planned relaxations of Covid measures are in jeopardy unless people continue to follow the rules.
Supt Mike Walker said: “Officers are reporting a marked change in people’s behaviour and attitude.
“It seems that people are starting to relax their approach to the national lockdown, with more people heading to the coast for a day out.
“We are not home and dry yet. We’re not at the point where we can abandon social distancing and just throw caution to the wind.
“I know that we all have March 29 circled in our calendar, so imagine the disappointment we will feel if the Prime Minister announces the data does not support us being able to relax.”
Over the past week, North Yorkshire Police has issued a total of 255 fines, with 169 of them over the weekend.
The Scarborough area remained the hot-spot for fixed penalty notices being issued, with 127 given.
Some 31 fines were also issued in York, 30 in Hambleton, 20 in Harrogate, 15 in Richmond, 13 in Craven, 11 in Selby and eight in Ryedale.
The fine for a first offence of breaking restrictions is £200, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days, and £400 for a second offence, doubling with each further offence to a maximum of £6000.
The first relaxation of Covid restrictions takes place on Monday March 8, with rules changing to allow people to meet with one other person socially outdoors.