Posted: 03.05.20 at 08:43 by Tim Lethaby
Avon and Somerset Police have warned they will "take enforcement action if necessary" at an expected anti-lockdown protest in Glastonbury today (May 3).
The police say they will be in attendance, but their actions will be "fair and proportionate" at the protest, which is expected to happen around the Market Cross at lunchtime today.
The police's stance comes after they closed Cheddar Gorge for the weekend, due to the number of people travelling and breaking lockdown restrictions there.
Superintendent Andy Bennett said: “We’re aware a small number of people are planning to protest in Glastonbury town centre at lunchtime today and we’ve been engaging with the protest organisers to outline their responsibilities to the general public around not doing anything which could spread coronavirus.
"This includes following restrictions on unnecessary travel, public gatherings, social distancing and leaving home without a reasonable excuse.
“The right to protest and the protection of freedom of expression are vitally important but we are in the midst of a public health emergency which has claimed the lives of more than 27,000 people and this has to take precedence.
"We have a clear and pressing need to make sure the rights of the public to be protected and kept safe are prioritised and the Government measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus are followed.
“Our approach will be fair and proportionate, and we’ll have officers in the Market Place to reiterate this approach and take enforcement action if necessary.
“We know the vast majority of people have significant concerns and anxieties about the coronavirus pandemic and we’re making this clear to those planning to take part in the protest.
"It’s important we all look out for each other during this health emergency and act as one community to stop this deadly virus from spreading.”
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