GMP statement following updated Coronavirus restrictions and guidance across England
Speaking after the announcement, Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: “As a police force, we fully appreciate how difficult the past few months have been for the country as a whole, and recognise that the vast of majority of people have played their part, following the guidance and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“However, the infection rate is rising rapidly and this means we must continue to work together to keep everyone safe. We cannot allow those who do not follow the rules to reverse the hard won progress made by the majority who do.
“First and foremost, we recognise that we are in a particularly unique position here in Greater Manchester, with differing local restrictions in place across many of our ten districts. We understand that many people living in one area may have friends and family living in neighbouring boroughs having to adhere to different rules. Yet this has to be the case as we try to combat the spread of the virus and keep each other’s loved ones safe.
“We are doing all that we can to ensure people continue to adhere to the restrictions, but we cannot do this alone. It is vitally important that people take the time to understand the restrictions and take personal responsibility for stopping the spread of this virus.
“We will continue with our partnership approach, working closely with all ten Local Authorities and Public Health as well colleagues in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and other sectors including university partners.
“A part of these new restrictions it will mean that from Thursday (24 September 2020) all hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses will have to close by 10pm. This includes takeaway’s, though they will be able to deliver between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Our officers and dedicated licencing teams will work to fully engage with licenced premises holders and ensure they are aware of the legislation and comply. Local authority, environmental health, and trading standards officers will also be ensuring that businesses adhere to the rules, with fines imposed and premises closed for breaches. We know that this is a particularly difficult time for the hospitality industry, but the sooner we adhere to the rules, the slower the virus will spread and the sooner we will be able to get back to a sense of ‘normal’.
“With the curfew in mind, we would also like to remind people to plan their journey’s ahead of time so that travel services are not overwhelmed and everyone can get home safely.
“Another notable change will see an increase in fines up to £200 for people not wearing face-masks, or those breaking the rule of six on a first offence. Those who are exempt from wearing face-masks will not be fined.
“As we have always said, we can only police by consent and we need people and businesses to get behind us on this. Our approach will remain the same, engaging with people first, explaining the guidance and law and encouraging people to do the right thing. However, we will not sit back and allow people to wilfully flout the law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce, there is no doubt that we will take this measure in order to protect the most vulnerable across our communities.
“We’re continuing to face really testing times as we head into the winter, with the infection rate rising and the threat of the virus becoming more severe. Here in Greater Manchester our position is quite unique, given the differing local restrictions and variations across the ten boroughs. With this in mind, we need people to do the right thing by understanding the restrictions that apply to them and adhering to the correct rules.
“I want to thank those who are doing their bit and continuing to take this virus seriously as we navigate our way through this pandemic. Where people do not follow the guidance, our officers and representatives from the local authorities will enforce the law and issue respective fines. Just yesterday (Tuesday 22 September 2020), we issued four Fixed Penalty Notice’s to people in Bolton who were breaching the local restrictions. Coronavirus can be deadly and this is all about saving lives.”