Three men have been accused of fowl play after police found them breaching Covid rules on a quest for fried chicken in Andover.

Officers laid down the law after three men were found on Saturday on New Street after visiting “a famous fried chicken restaurant” for a takeaway. Two of the men had driven from Alresford to pick up the third man, an Andover resident.

The three men, all in their twenties, have been reported for summons for a fixed penalty notice for the offence.

The saga began on Saturday, February 6, when two men from Alresford set off on the 25 mile drive from Alresford to Andover. Both were from separate households, and this was compounded by picking up a third man in Andover.

Under current lockdown regulations, people from two different households may only mix indoors if they form part of a support or childcare bubble, while outdoors, you may meet with another person for exercise.

The three men then visited a fried-chicken restaurant in Andover, which is understood by the Advertiser to be the town’s KFC branch.

However, their takeaway plans were foiled after officers located the three men sitting together in a car on New Street, at around 2:40pm. They have been reported for summons, meaning that they will be directed to appear in court at a later date to answer the offences against them.

If the notice is served, they will face a £200 penalty, which is reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days. For each offence, the penalty doubles, up to a maximum of £1,600.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: “Three men have been reported for summons for breaching the current Health Protection Regulations in Andover.

“Officers located three men, all from different households, sat in a car on New Street at around 2.40pm on Saturday 6 February. There was no legal reason for them to be gathering in the car.

“As a result, they have all been reported for summons in relation to a fixed penalty notice.”