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Hertfordshire police step up social distancing patrols over Easter weekend

Police are on patrol in Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth over the Easter weekend, enforcing the Government’s coronavirus legislation.

Assistant Chief Constable Nathan Briant, who is leading Hertfordshire Constabulary’s response to Covid-19, said: “We fully appreciate that the long Easter weekend is usually a time for families and friends to get together, but it is vital that people continue to respect the Government’s social distancing guidelines at this time.

“As a community, we are all suffering the hardship of staying at home and not being able to meet friends and family, but only by continuing our efforts can we hope to save lives and hasten the removal of the restrictions.

“Our officers will be on patrol in parks and open spaces around the county this weekend, checking that everyone is enjoying the bank holiday safely and responsibly. Their role there is primarily public safety, as we try to reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread.

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“Officers will always seek to encourage compliance of the regulations, but, where necessary for the benefit of the wider public, we will take enforcement action if required. Together, as a community, we can beat this.

“If you are concerned that you have seen a gathering which contravenes the guidance, we would encourage you to contact us using our online reporting methods. This will help to relieve some of the pressure on our emergency lines and resources, and allow for a quicker response to urgent 999 calls.

“We really appreciate your co-operation and would like to thank everyone for their support so far.”

To report a Covid-19 related crime, such as a mass gathering, use the online methods of reporting where possible, at herts.police.uk/contact or herts.police.uk/report.

The Government’s guidance during the coronavirus lockdown is that individuals are only permitted to leave home for the following purposes:

• Shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible;

• One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or bike ride – alone or with members of their household;

• Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;

• Travelling to and from work, but only where work from home is not possible.

Gatherings of more than two people are permitted only in limited circumstances, such as:

• If they are of the same household;

• If it is necessary for work purposes;

• To attend a funeral;

• If it is reasonably necessary for some situations, such as providing care and assistance to a vulnerable person.

This means that families should not be travelling to the homes of other family members or friends for gatherings over the weekend.

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