A top officer at Humberside Police has clarified why you might be fined for breaching coronavirus rules after saying it was "irrelevant" whether people stayed local or not.

Humberside Police and most other forces across the country have being constantly grilled on what they see as rule-breaking when it comes to travelling for exercise.

On Look North on Tuesday night, Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said "they need to be very clear breaches of regulations and not guidance for enforcement", adding that you could travel anywhere as long as there was a "reasonable excuse".

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Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said he wanted to 'myth-bust' the rules on travel
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said he wanted to 'myth-bust' the rules on travel

In a press release, ACC Noble said the force will "remain unapologetically inquisitive" about why people are out of their homes and that sitting on benches is still prohibited under the current rules.

He said: “UK Government guidance strongly requests that people do not leave their local area. However, the Covid regulations, which we enforce, and which enable us to issue fixed penalty notices for breaches, don’t restrict the distance travelled for exercise.

“We will remain unapologetically inquisitive about why people are out of their homes and will explain the regulations and encourage people to comply. Where people are breaching the regulations and are away from home without a reasonable excuse, they may be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

“In situations where people are breaching the guidance not to travel out of their local area but are not breaching regulations, we will strongly encourage people to follow the guidance."

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ACC Noble said officers individually assess every situation and apply the most appropriate response, which on some occasions may see them dispersing a gathering, or in other cases will require issuing a fixed penalty notice.

“The restrictions are clear in that you should stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse not to. This may be to buy food, to travel to work, for childcare arrangements or for exercise," he said.

“Going to the beach, parks or countryside, irrespective of where you travel from, is not permitted unless you have a reasonable excuse.

“Currently other outdoor recreation – like sitting on a park bench or a beach - is unlikely to be a reasonable excuse and the police can take enforcement action in such circumstances.

“We are asking the public to take personal responsibility for your own actions and in particular - stay home; protect the NHS; save lives.

"As we hopefully approach the final stages of this pandemic, it is ever more important to take the advice of our public health professionals.

“I want to provide reassurance to all our communities that we will continue to take our role in this health emergency extremely seriously. I also want to thank our officers and staff, who every day, continue to put themselves in harm’s way to protect our communities.”