Bournemouth police warn Charedi visitors that they are breaking Covid rules

Residents say strictly Orthodox have been 'flocking' to seaside town


Dorset Police told strictly Orthodox visitors to Bournemouth to return home over the holiday period following reports from residents that they had been travelling to the seaside town from London while the area was still in Tier 2, in contravention of coronavirus restrictions.

Officers visited the Normandie Hotel on December 26 in response to concerns about gatherings at the address involving people who had travelled from a Tier 4 area, in breach of regulations.

A police spokesperson told the JC that officers spoke with hotel staff and gave “words of advice” to those staying to return to their homes. Their neighbourhood policing team was working with the hotel to ensure it was acting within the current regulations now that the nation is in lockdown.

“Everyone has a social responsibility to stick within the rules to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus,” the police said.

One local resident told the JC that it was “shameful” to see Charedim “flocking to Bournemouth” while it was still in Tier 2, claiming that many were staying at the Normandie, others in local apartment blocks. Their behaviour “gives all of us a bad name”.

Another resident said she had confronted a number groups. One encounter was with a group of more than a dozen girls on December 29, who said they were from Manchester and were “entitled to be here.”

She said that on December 26, a Shabbat, there were “literally hundreds” on the seafront. “They just didn’t care.”

Last Shabbat, another resident saw people walking along East Overcliff Drive “several abreast”, still wearing their tallit and not observing social distancing. He also claimed to have seen “crowds” emerging from the Normandie at around 11.30am.

The hotel did not respond to a request for comment.

In May last year, Police visited the Normandie to break up “large religious gatherings” then prohibited under the first national lockdown.



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