105 Covid reports as police issue warning over new rules

Rules on social contact and outdoor activities were relaxed yesterday -but people have been reminded to check and understand the current Covid restrictions. As part of the latest step in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, people are allowed to meet outdoors – including in private gardens – in either a group of up to six people or a group comprising of two households. In the last week, Wiltshire Police issued 26 fixed penalty notices and 23 formal warnings to people for failing to adhere to the government rules.

They recorded 105 reports from members of the public, either via phone or using the force’s website. Police recorded two Covid-related crimes and 12 Covid-related incidents. Deputy chief constable Paul Mills said: “Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to our communities across Swindon and Wiltshire for the sacrifices they have made during this third national lockdown to help keep us all safe.

“We know the past three months have been very difficult for so many people, but the vast majority of our communities have played their part, sticking to the rules and limiting social contact with others. This has paid off and we have seen a significant reduction in the virus rates. “We will continue with our proactive patrols and encourage everyone to make themselves aware of what is and is not permitted.

“Our policing approach will continue to focus on where there are blatant breaches of the regulations, with a specific focus on gatherings that exceed the permitted numbers or within a premises, and intelligence that indicates people are staying away from home. “These are expressively prohibited under the ongoing restrictions and we know these types of events also pose the greatest risk to public health.” Tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools are allowed to reopen, while people can take part in formally-organised outdoor sports.

The ‘stay at home’ rule has now ended, but the guidance states that people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: “The government has been clear that while it is a significant milestone in our journey out of lockdown we all need to proceed with caution. “Please don’t be tempted to push against the restrictions and, although you can now meet up with family and friends, make sure you do so safely.

“Only meet outdoors and continue to follow the hands, face, space guidance to ensure we continue to keep Covid-19 under control.”

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