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Shocking video shows 200 defying lockdown rules in mass snowball fight

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read

Watch: 200 defy lockdown rules in mass snowball fight

This is the moment an estimated 200 people take part in a massive snowball fight in a blatant breach of the coronavirus lockdown.

The video was captured by photographer Liam Ford in a park in Leeds on Thursday afternoon.

Ford told Yahoo News UK it was an “abuse” of people’s limited freedoms during the national lockdown.

The government’s lockdown rules for England ban people from leaving their homes to “meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with”. Police can issue fines starting at £200 for any breaches.

Liam Ford estimated about 200 people were involved in the snowball fight. (Liam Ford/@ljfpics/Twitter)
Liam Ford estimated about 200 people were involved in the snowball fight. (Liam Ford/@ljfpics/Twitter)
The huge snowball fight in Woodhouse Moor, in the Hyde Park area of Leeds, on Thursday. (Liam Ford/@ljfpics/Twitter)
The huge snowball fight in Woodhouse Moor, in the Hyde Park area of Leeds, on Thursday. (Liam Ford/@ljfpics/Twitter)

The snowball fight was at odds with the majority of people who are sticking to the rules, with studies also showing compliance has improved since December.

It happened in Woodhouse Moor – also known as Hyde Park after the suburb of Leeds it is located in – with Ford saying about 200 people were involved.

He told this website: “My girlfriend and I had gone out for a walk, with the restrictions it was nice to get some fresh air.

“At about 2pm we started walking around the outskirts of the park and heard a bit of a commotion, lots of shouting and screaming.

“Being curious we walked into the centre of the park and saw a mass group of people having a big snowball fight.

“Within a large park you do expect to see some people there, but not a mass group of people having a snowball fight. It’s obviously breaking the rules with such a large quantity in a small area.”

He added: “With the current restrictions it’s a bit of an abuse of freedom, given the current climate.”

Read more:

Priti Patel gets basic COVID guidance wrong for second time in three days

Elderly people told to delay COVID vaccines because of snow

West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “We are aware of this matter. All persons dispersed.”

On Wednesday, the government had reported a further 1,564 deaths of people in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, as well as a further 47,525 infections.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID patients in hospital in England stood at a record 32,925 as of 8am on Thursday, up 17% from a week ago.

Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown