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Black Friday police patrols in Wales to stop English shoppers breaking lockdown

Police will patrol in Wales on Black Friday to catch out any visitors from locked-down parts of the UK.

The extra measures in Cardiff follow following a chaotic weekend which saw people from locked-down parts of the UK visit the city.

South Wales Police said it will use the powers to try to ensure those visiting Cardiff city centre are not breaching any coronavirus rules.

Police will have the power to carry out random checks on vehicles from 9am on Friday as shoppers hit the city for Black Friday deals, reports Wales Online.

English shoppers will be largely doing their Black Friday shopping online with non-essential stores shut as part of the current lockdown – but in Wales these shops are now back open.

It comes after a weekend of “chaos” in the city, where police believe people from other parts of the UK “migrated” into the Welsh capital to enjoy the open shops, restaurants and pubs.

England is still in lockdown and nationwide restrictions on travelling outside of the country for non-essential reasons are in place until December 2.

Welsh coronavirus rules also restrict travel from high-risk areas, which England is currently classed as.

Wales emerged from its own circuit-breaker lockdown on November 9, just four days after England’s began.

Police in Cardiff are preparing themselves for a busy Black Friday weekend of shoppers and pub-goers.

It is in stark contrast to England, where Black Friday shoppers are expected to spend record amounts online with High Street stores shut as part of the current lockdown.

A spokesperson for South Wales Police said they were working with Cardiff Council to ensure those visiting the city could do so safely.

They said they would be increasing the number of officers on duty and encouraging personal responsibility, as well as ensuring compliance with coronavirus restrictions in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.

The additional powers to carry out random vehicle checks will be in place in Cardiff from 9am on Friday, November 27 to 5pm on Sunday, November 29.

Those found to be in breach of coronavirus legislation will face being fined and will be told to leave the city and return home.

Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Superintendent Jason Rees said: “The past few months have been difficult for us all, and with the rules having relaxed slightly, non-essential business re-opening and Christmas just around the corner, it’s understandable that people will
want to get out and about and enjoy all our city has to offer.

“The vast majority are doing so 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.

“We are anticipating another busy weekend in our city centre, and while we will continue to adopt the policing style we have throughout the pandemic – working with the public to encourage voluntary compliance – we are committed to enforcing where blatant and flagrant breaches occur.”