Cops ramp up border checks to stop people in England sneaking over to Wales to have a pint

PUB patrol police officers have ramped up border checks to stop people in England sneaking over to Wales for a pint.

Cops have said extra checks will be carried out on drivers after Wales came out of its “firebreak” lockdown yesterday.

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England, however, went on a nationwide lockdown on November 5 following a rise in coronavirus infections.

Under the new rules, pubs and all non-essential shops must remain shut until December 2.

A joint operation by officers on both sides of the border has now been launched to catch out English people who attempt to sneak to Wales to “take advantage” of its open pubs.

Mark Hoborough, Gwent Police Superintendent said: “We’ve all experienced the frustration associated with a national lockdown.

“The ongoing health crisis has fundamentally changed the way we all go about our daily lives.

“Working with our colleagues in Gloucestershire Constabulary, we’re reminding everyone not to take advantage of bars and clubs opening in Wales and considering breaking the England-wide lockdown.”

Gloucestershire Constabulary assistant chief, Constable Rhiannon Kirk also said: “This operation is aimed at addressing the risk that a small minority could travel into Wales to drink during lockdown and then drive back home under the influence.

“It is in line with our Safe and Social Roads priority of our police and crime plan and our activity will be targeted and proportionate."

He added: “Drink driving is one of the fatal four cases of collision and can have devastating consequences for those who do it, other road users and their loved ones.”

During the 17-day firebreak lockdown, Welsh police used roadblocks to stop people from making journeys that were deemed non-essential.

People were only allowed to leave their homes for food, medicine, care or exercise.

Drivers trying to leave Wales were asked to go back into the country ifcops were not satisfied with the reason for their journey.

Meanwhile, some pub owners along the border have slammed a new rule in which they will have to check IDs to make sure they are not serving English people.

Mandy Broady, landlady of The Boat Inn in Chepstow said: "I am doing everything I can to keep my staff and customers safe, we are taking all their details, making sure we keep to rules on social distancing but I think it's a little unfair to expect us to police the IDs of everyone who comes in.

"Where I am is literally one minute from the border – half my staff would be English half would be from Wales. I'm told we can't serve the English ones so we'll see how that goes.

"I would understand if we were in the middle of Wales but we're on the outskirts and I think it's unfair.

"It's hard enough to keep up with it and getting the staff in to deal with it without having to ask them to start taking ID."

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