A COUPLE travelling from Essex to deliver Christmas presents to family members in Cardiff were stopped by police for breaking coronavirus laws.
Officers were granted the power to stop and fine drivers from 9am on Friday, to help deter people from outside Wales from travelling into the country.
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Officers pulled over a couple who had 200 miles to deliver Christmas presentsCredit: PA:Press Association
South Wales Police revealed over 100 vehicles were stopped in the first 24 hours of the random checks in the Welsh capital.
Twelve people were slapped with fines and 15 others were warned and asked to leave the city on the first day of the scheme.
Among the 110 vehicles stopped, were the couple who travelled around 200 miles to deliver presents – despite lockdown restrictions across England remaining in place until Wednesday.
The force did not comment on whether the pair received any punishment.
A group of nine travelling in convoy to visit friends at university were among the other vehicles turned away by officers.
There are no travel restrictions in place within Wales, but people in England are banned from crossing the border without a “reasonable excuse”.
The Welsh government said this includes travelling for work and “compassionate grounds” after introducing a “restricted list of essential purposes”.
It comes almost a month after Wales “firebreak” lockdown ended on November 9 – reopening pubs, restaurants and non-essential retailers, with social distancing measures in place.
Police were granted the temporary extra powers this weekend, after concerns that people from locked-down areas of the UK flocked to Cardiff’s city centre last weekend.
The force said alongside the checks, which will continue until 5pm on Sunday, they have also had more officers on duty during the last weekend of lockdown.
Superintendent Wendy Gunney said: “I would like to thank the vast majority of people who are enjoying their weekend with caution and within the confines of the existing regulations, but those not adhering to the rules are continuing to put others at increased risk.
“The measures which are in place are in place for a reason. Our checks will continue throughout the weekend, and anybody blatantly flouting the rules, which have been made very clear, face being fined.”
People can be fined £60 for a first offence, increasing to £120 for a second offence and continuing to double for repeated offences up to a maximum of £1,920, under the Coronavirus fixed penalty notice system.
If prosecuted, a court can impose an unlimited fine on rule breakers.