Helicopter’s 80-mile trip for sandwich was ‘flagrant abuse of lockdown rules’

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2 min read
small commercial helicopter at the airport
A helicopter (not pictured) allegedly made a return trip from Salford to Preston for a sandwich. (Getty)

A helicopter pilot has been accused of "flagrant abuse" of lockdown rules after making an 80-mile round trip to pick up a beef sandwich.

On Tuesday, Chipping Farm Shop near Preston posted an Instagram video of the aircraft landing and a worker delivering a package.

The shop claimed the pilot had made the trip for a sandwich, adding: “When your customers are literally ‘flying in’ to collect their favourite ‘Roast Beef in Caramelised Onion Gravy Barms'."

A resident tracked the helicopter back to City Airport in Salford using a flight radar website, the BBC reported.

Read more: Five key dates that explain how and when lockdown rules are going to be relaxed

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Ribble Valley council has launched an investigation into the flight to determine if it broke coronavirus restrictions.

The council’s Chipping ward representative Simon Hore told the BBC the trip “does seem to be a flagrant abuse of the restrictions on travel under the current lockdown rules”.

The Tory councillor added: “All premises need to ensure that they are observing rules.”

Chipping Farm Shop has since deleted its Facebook account which featured the video but the clip is still up on its Instagram page.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed it was looking into the incident but the Lancashire force said they had not received a complaint.

Yahoo UK has contacted Chipping Farm Shop for comment.

Read more: What you can and can’t do under new rules for England

It is currently illegal to leave home except if you have a “reasonable excuse”.

These include going to work where it is impossible to work from home, exercise, shopping for essentials, and obtaining childcare in certain circumstances.

From Monday, people will be able to meet one other person from another household to sit outside, and a regular named visitor will be able to go to a care home.

Schools and further education will return to face-to-face teaching, supported by regular testing at secondary schools and colleges.

After-school clubs and children's sport can resume helping working parents.

All students will be urged to use face coverings in all indoor settings – including classrooms – unless 2m social distancing can be maintained.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown