Covid cops crackdown on Londoners fleeing to beauty spots as two-thirds of England to be in Tier 4 tomorrow

COVID cops have cracked down on Londoners fleeing to beauty spots today as two-thirds of England are set to be plunged into Tier 4.

Drivers filled up a car park at Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales as people left their areas despite strict coronavirus lockdown rules.

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Police said they turned away drivers who had come from as far away as London, which is under Tier 4 restrictions.

Intensive care consultant Dr David Hepburn said it was "very disappointing" that people were travelling to visit the mountain despite soaring Covid cases.

Dr Hepburn, who works at Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Wales, told the BBC: "All the hospitals across the health board are now very, very full.

"We've still got quite a lot of time to go before this pandemic is under control, so really anything could happen over the next month or so."

Wales is under a nationwide level four lockdown, which was introduced on December 20.

Cops set up road blocks in the Brecon Beacons today.

There were visitors from London, Cheltenham in Gloucestershire – which is under Tier 3 rules – as well as people who had travelled from Swansea, Cardiff and Newport.

Carmarthenshire Police tweeted today that they were doing "high-visibility patrols" outside the mountain.

They wrote: "A large number of people are visiting the area to walk up Pen y Fan.

"This is not essential. Officers are engaging and educating and where necessary will enforce restrictions."

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Travel is not allowed in or out of Wales unless it is considered "essential" – meaning for things like childcare, education, providing care for others or working when you can't do so from home.

In Tier 4 areas in England – which are mainly in the South East of the country and in London – people are not able to enter or leave in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is set to decide England's new tiers tonight – amid claims up to two-thirds of people could end up in the toughest lockdown restrictions.

The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the "Covid-O" committee this evening ahead of the Health Secretary's announcement tomorrow.

It comes as Whitehall sources claimed "sizeable chunks" of the Midlands and the North are expected to be put into Tier 4.

Ministers are growing increasingly concerned over new and more infectious Covid variants, which are spreading across the country.

The Government has yet to rule out tougher new "Tier 5" rules – which could see schools shut down – but a Whitehall source has said that expanding Tier 4 was more likely in the "immediate future".


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