Sitting in your car for an hour waiting in a queue for an ice cream takeaway is ‘allowed’, Wiltshire Police confirmed on social media yesterday.
Despite lockdown laws preventing people from making non-essential trips out, and even banning friends of a deceased person from attending a funeral, the police have said that hundreds of people driving to car parks in Swindon to collect an ice cream is perfectly legal.
During a several-hours-long cycle patrol PCSO Gray came across dozens of cars queuing in Bridgemead Retail Park waiting to be served a frozen takeaway treat from the Chez’s Ices’ van.
Hundreds of people are said to have visited either one of the two set ups, with the other in the County Ground car park off County Road, overlooking the Magic Roundabout.
On Facebook, local police said that the activity was lawful, stating: “On a lighter note it also appears that the great British public will go to any length to get their Mr Whippy on a sunny day.
“This type of service [Chez’s Ices’ ice cream takeaway] was checked and as the vans are licensed and adhering to government guidance then it seems that people of Swindon can have their ice cream and eat it we just hope they got home before it melted.”
Though the police’s ‘what constitutes a reasonable excuse to leave home’ document says people should only be buying non-essential items if they are ‘already out of the address with good reason’. The new police guidance doesn’t include travelling and queuing for ice cream as a ‘reasonable excuse’.
The document also confirms that ‘buying paint and brushes to redecorate a kitchen’ is illegal.
Posting on Facebook, the ice cream brand said: “So now I have permission from the council and following all the guidelines we are back open.
“All you have to do is drive up to the serving window (there will be a table between me and your window 2 metres apart) you will place your order at my serving window I then will make your ice creams fresh and sealed put in a takeaway bag and you go simple.”
We’ve approached the Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson for comment.
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