Will there be roadblocks in tier 4?

The new, more infectious strain of coronavirus is out of control, and the millions of people living in areas under tough tier 4 restrictions have been told they must stay at home to curb its spread. Few exceptions allow for travel, such as to get to a workplace when working from home is not possible and to go to school. The same rules apply in cases of travelling outside of tier 4, or travelling into tier 4 areas from another part of the country in a lower tier.

Given the nation had been told they could to travel to see their families for five days over the festive period before that guidance was turned on its head, people felt they had mere hours to escape before tier 4 took effect. Unsurprisingly, traffic data showed jams increasing on London roads and the surrounding areas and motorways on Saturday night. But what is there to stop people from breaking the rules and travelling while living in a tier 4 area?

Matt Hancock said the travel ban will be enforced, whether that will include roadblocks remains unclear. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the health secretary said he hopes people will stay at home by consent, but that he had spoken with the home secretary about enforcement. “It’s the police’s responsibility to police the law, and the law came into force in the early hours of this morning (Sunday),” he said.

Meanwhile, Scotland has ruled out the use of roadblocks, but says it has doubled its police presence along the border with England. lain Livingstone, the chief constable of Police Scotland, said “highly visible patrols” on roads will be used to “deter anyone who might be considering breaching the coronavirus travel restrictions”.

But he added it would not be “appropriate or proportionate for officers to establish checkpoints or roadblocks to simply enforce travel restrictions”.

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