'Covid-19 remains a real and deadly threat': Police urge Brits to comply with new rules ahead of weekend of warm weather

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  • September 18, 2020
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Police forces across the country have urged people to comply with the new coronavirus rules ahead of a weekend of warm weather.

The Government has made social meet-ups of more than six people illegal. The rules apply across England to all ages and to indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Failure to stick to the new rules could mean a £100 fine, which will double with every subsequent offence up to £3,200.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix of Kent Police said there would be an increased presence in “key areas” around the county and that enforcement would be used if necessary.

It comes as the Met Office forecasts a weekend of “largely dry, bright and fine” weather, which could see temperatures rise as high as 24C.

More sunny weather is on the way for large parts of England (PA)

“Kent has had a very good compliance rate when it comes to adhering to the national health advice around the coronavirus,” Ms Nix said.

“However, the Government has made it clear that the risk of increasing infections is too great to ignore and stricter social gathering rules have now come into effect to help keep everyone safe.

“Kent Police officers continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the latest advice and enforcement will be used as a last resort.”

She added: “There will be an increased presence in key locations around the county to ensure the current national advice is adhered to, such as preventing unlicensed music events and illegal gatherings.

“Officers will also continue to work with partner agencies such as local councils to make sure safety advice is respected in public spaces such as parks and beaches.

“Covid-19 remains a real and deadly threat and we all need to take responsibility for our actions in helping reduce the spread of the virus and ultimately save lives.”

Police have urged Brits to comply with the new coronavirus rules (REUTERS)

The Metropolitan Police said officers will patrol public spaces across London over the weekend and enforce the new “rule of six”.

“It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives,” a statement on Friday night said.

“Officers will patrol public spaces and will also respond to incidents where groups gather in numbers larger than six.

“We will continue to adopt the four Es approach – we will engage with our communities, explain the regulations and what they mean, and encourage people to adhere to them.

“Officers do have the power to report people for fixed penalty notices of £100, which doubles for further offences, up to a maximum of £3,200.”

Covid-19: UK sees ‘widespread growth’ in cases

It comes as further lockdown measures have been introduced in northern parts of England.

Liverpool is forecast to see highs of 19C on both Saturday and Sunday and stay bright and dry, as are parts of the North East, such as Newcastle, although the temperature will be cooler, sitting at around 15C.

Ollie Claydon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said that the warm weekend temperatures would come ahead of a more “unsettled” week of weather.

“We’re in for a dry and fine evening on Saturday, with clear conditions for central parts of the UK and northern Ireland,” he said.

“There’s a risk of showers but temperatures will stay high.

“But then a cold front from the north west around lunchtime on Monday will herald the arrival of cooler, more unsettled weather next week.”

Forces in Dorset, where large crowds have previously flocked to the beaches to enjoy the heat, also warned that anyone flouting the new “rule of six” over the weekend may be subject to fines.

Dorset Police has also urged students returning to university to “play their part and act responsibly”.

Chief Inspector Heather Dixey said: “We understand that starting university is an exciting and special time for students, but Covid-19 means that this experience has to be different to protect yourself, your fellow students and the local community.

“We have been made aware of some recent instances whereby guidelines have been ignored, sparking concern and frustration in the community, and we are working with the universities to address this.”