A group has been issued with £200 fines after breaching coronavirus restrictions by holding barbecue in the snow-covered moors of County Durham. 

Officers responding to reports of the illegal gathering found the five adults, from three different households with eight children, who had travelled more than 20 miles from Gateshead to Waskerley, above Consett, in poor conditions on Thursday.

They were gathered in freezing temperatures as 40mph gusts from the remnants of Storm Christoph blew around them.

The adults initially denied doing 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.

They were each given £200 fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations and sent home with their children, the youngest of whom was aged seven months.



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.’

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