Walkers in Surrey have swarmed to beauty spots in Dorking like Box Hill and Denbies for leisurely strolls to break their lockdown blues this New Year. However local residents and police are concerned about the numbers of people mixing without any social distancing or COVID prevention measures. 

On Christmas Day, although Surrey was placed into tier 4 which prohibited any mixing of households, many people were seen in the car park of Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking sitting with their boots open, chatting and drinking bucks fizz with other families without a mask in sight.  

Just over a week later, on Saturday the 2nd of January, a gathering of young people was broken up by police on Box Hill, in Dorking. Local resident Janet Croft Smythe said that her daughter, Izzi, had heard about other teens discussing over social media where were the best places to meet up outdoors in a group. Due to the Government's tier 4 rules to protect against coronavirus, 3 police vans were called to a scene where young people over the age of 16 had met up in a group, not socially distanced or wearing any form of face covering. She expressed her concerns about people meeting up when it isn’t permitted, stating that she felt people were not understanding the graveness of the situation currently being faced. 

Although the teens were not causing any trouble, police issued warnings and said that if and they were told if they were seen gathering in the area again, fines would be issued, reminding them of their responsibilities and to make better choices in the future. People need to understand the social responsibilities they uphold to protect their families and elderly relatives from the deadly virus.