POLICE have been seen moving people on from benches along Hove seafront.

Officers were this afternoon given sweeping new powers to arrest people who go on 'non essential' journeys and ignore Boris Johnson's plea to 'stay at home' for the next three weeks.

Those who defy tough restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially and £120 for a second offence reaching £1,000-plus for repeat offenders, the Home Office warned today.

After a spate of coughing and spitting attacks on police officers and paramedics, deliberately spreading coronavirus will now be treated as a serious assault punishable with a jail term of up to two years.


And as the new powers emerged, Sussex Police told people not to sit on benches in Hove.

The government has said those in self-isolation are allowed to leave the house for one form of exercise a day - a walk, run or cycle alone or with other members of your household.

Dog owners are allowed to walk their pets, but groups of more than two people are not allowed.

The advice has proven problematic for those in built-up areas whose only nearby green-space is a park shared by thousands of others looking to exercise at the same time.

Experts have said the enforcement will divert officers from investigating other crimes.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal.  Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. org.uk/apply. To donate visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund