POLICE have pledged to stop drivers leaving Leicester for Nottingham’s pubs and shops this weekend – as the nation braces itself for ‘Super Saturday’.
Cops are expected to carry out spot checks at the city’s borders after one local reveller tried to hire a coach to Nottingham for a night out yesterday.
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The shocking numbers mean that the city accounts for 10 per cent of all coronavirus cases in the UK.
All shops, pubs and restaurants will remain closed in the city, raising concerns that cooped-up locals could flee to nearby Nottingham for a pint – where pubs and shops are set to reopen.
Yesterday, Leicester City fan Colin Browning called on people to join him on a coach to Nottingham for a night out, which locals were quick to snap up.
He tweeted his offer, which sold out at £15 per head – and included space on a 48-seater bus complete with “free hand sanitiser, masks and gloves”.
Colin later reduced his sell to a minibus, admitting he had “gone over the top”.
Police will now carry out spot checks on cars and busses leaving Leicester to ensure residents stick to their new lockdown rules, The Times reports.
Minibuses and coaches travelling to surrounding areas will be stopped and turned around, while patrols in parks will be stepped up if needed.
‘WE WILL ACT’
Nottinghamshire Police said yesterday that it would work with British Transport Police to clamp down on unnecessary travel from Leicester to Nottingham – as thirsty Brits get set for pubs to open this weekend.
It is understood cops will not patrol train stations and road checkpoints, but will instead act if they have reason to believe people are breaking the rules.
Chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Craig Guildford, said: “If we get any intelligence from Leicester such as a minibus or coach travelling to Nottingham then we will act accordingly.
If we get any intelligence from Leicester such as a minibus or coach travelling to Nottingham then we will act accordingly.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford
“British Transport Police will be doing the same.
“You are still allowed to travel to get to work, but they will be looking for a breach of the guidance such as going shopping or going on a night out.”
Chief Constable Guildford added, however, that the force is “not anticipating a rise of people from Leicester” this weekend.
Anyone in Leicester caught breaking the rules could face a £100 charge, with the force set to use fines as a “last resort”.
Constable Guildford said: “Our approach will remain unchanged. We will be offering education and fines as a last resort.
“There will be the odd person who does not want to be locked down and fancies a day out in Nottingham. We are not anticipating a rise of people from Leicester.
“I think most people in Leicester will respect that and it has been put in place for a reason.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that while non-essential travel was not being made illegal, it would if it had to.
He said: “We are recommending against all but essential travel to and from and within Leicester.
“We will take further action including putting in place laws if that’s necessary but I very much hope it won’t be.
“If further action is needed then of course we are willing to take it.”
The drastic move will see non-essential shops closing while schools will also have to shut.
Leicester streets were left deserted after the news was announced.