Fourteen people stopped and fined trying to leave UK lockdown by the Channel Tunnel

Cars were stopped trying to leave the country via the Channel Tunnel (file photo) (Image: PA)

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At least 14 people have been stopped and fined for trying to LEAVE Britain via the Channel Tunnel in breach of the latest coronavirus rules.

Police say eight people in one car were stopped by officers trying to travel from London to Bulgaria.

Another three vehicles, each with two people inside, were also blocked from travelling to the Continent from the Midlands and Norfolk.

More than 50 people were spoken to by officers at the Port of Dover over the course of three days last week.

All were trying to leave the UK in breach of the Government's COVID-19 restrictions that ban unnecessary travel last until December 2.

The Euro Tunnel is one way of reaching the continent

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Kent Police said officers stopped more than 50 people over four days from last Thursday through to Sunday, and told them to go home due to the current laws imposed by the Government.

Some of those stopped at the Channel Tunnel and Dover Port were also travelling in groups of more than two and mixing with other households, police said.

All were trying to leave the country without "reasonable excuse", during a time in which being outdoors and leaving the UK is not permitted unless for specific reasons, according to Kent Police.

This included eight people in one car from two separate families who were trying to travel from London to Bulgaria via the Dover ferry crossing.

Officers also spoke to the occupants of three other cars, each containing two people, from Leicester, Birmingham and Thetford at the port.

Cars inside the tunnel (file photo)

Kent Police said they "reminded them all of their responsibilities and encouraged them to adhere to the guidelines".

But despite the advice, all four cars still attempted to leave the country by instead going to the Channel Tunnel.

They were stopped again by officers and each given a fixed penalty notice of £200 and the driver of the car containing eight people was also given a fixed penalty notice for having no insurance.

Police at the Channel Tunnel also stopped and spoke to a man from London who was trying to travel to France.

He was given advice, but then left and tried to cross at the port shortly afterwards so was also slapped with a fine.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police, said: "The Government has made it very clear that the best way to support the NHS and save lives is to stay at home and it is our job to ensure people are respecting the measures designed to protect everyone.

"Until December 2 people should only be leaving home for the reasons the Government has listed, which includes – for example – work, exercise, medical appointments, food and caring for vulnerable people.

"Everyone should familiarise themselves with the full list of exemptions and understand what is expected of them at this time.

"It is fair to say that the majority of people in Kent have shown throughout the pandemic that they respect and adhere to the COVID-19 regulations.

"Nevertheless officers have been out and about across the whole county engaging, explaining and encouraging people to comply with restrictions."

She added: "In most situations, we can resolve breaches without having to issue a fine but in cases like these, when people blatantly disregard the advice and refuse to comply, we are left with no choice but to take enforcement action.

"In Kent we will continue to police in a sensible, proportionate and fair manner and ask that everyone continues to take personal responsibility for controlling the spread of the virus and protect themselves from harm."

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