Cheshire Constabulary is urging residents to work together to help in the continued fight against Covid-19.
In recent weeks there has been a steady increase in coronavirus cases across the county, which has resulted in the introduction of a number of restrictions under the new three-tier system.
As part of this, those living in Warrington, Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester are now classed as ‘high-risk’ areas, meaning that residents within the three boroughs cannot socialise with anyone from outside their household in any indoor settings.
Halton is now classed as a ‘very-high risk’ area, meaning that as well as the ban on socialising with anyone from outside their household, a number of premises are now closed including betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos.
The new legislation is in addition to other existing measures in place, including the use of face masks and the ‘rule of six’.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “I understand that there are lots of changes for people to take in and I want to reassure residents that we will continue to support them to navigate the measures in place.
“Our officers have been out and about throughout the weekend helping to explain the rules and to ensure people are following them, and this work will continue.
“To support this, we have also introduced a new dedicated team of officers whose role is specifically to respond to incidents involving possible breaches of the coronavirus legislation.
“The vast majority are sticking to the rules and this is really encouraging. However, we do need people to continue to take personal responsibility and make sure they are fully aware of the rules that apply to them in the area they live and ensure they stick to them.”
So far the vast majority of people are sticking to the new rules. However, there have been a small number of breaches, which has resulted in enforcement action being taken against more thanks 20 individuals and businesses.
These included a care worker in Warrington elderly care home who was issued with a £200 fine after failing to isolate and continuing to go to work following a trip to Romania.
Meanwhile, the landlord of a pub in Warrington who fully understood the rules but was blatantly flouting them was issued with a £1,000 fine after failing to adhere to the legislation.
During a joint visit to the premises with the local authority, officers found that tables and chairs were not adequately spaced out, meaning that customers were unable to socially distance.
Elsewhere, three people from different households have £200 fines for socialising together at an address in Runcorn.
ACC Sims added: “Our officers will continue to adopt the 4Es approach to ensure that everyone is sticking to the rules. However, as these examples show, where people are blatantly breaching them we will not hesitate to take action.
“The rules are there for a reason – to keep us all safe – and we all need to play our part to protect our family, our friends, the communities we live in and, most importantly, the NHS.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner or Cheshire said: “It’s been pleasing to see that the vast majority of residents have adhered to the new legislation, and I hope that this continues.
“It is clear that we all have a very important part to play over the coming weeks and months. COVID-19 is very much still out there, we must not let our guard down and the personal choices that we all make are crucial to protect others.”
Anyone looking to report a breach of the coronavirus legislation is urged to do so online at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/ .
Full details of the current regulations relating to Covid-19 can be found on the www.gov.uk/coronavirus website.