“We must all take personal responsibility to stop this virus spreading”

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Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Debbie Tedds has today spoken about how officers will work to enforce newly imposed coronavirus measures across the county.

“We know that the past few months have been really difficult for everyone, and we recognise that the vast majority of people in Warwickshire have played their part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the guidance and complying with the rules, and we thank them for this.

“This has meant that we have not had to move to enforcement very often, and have found instead that engaging, explaining and encouraging has worked effectively in the vast majority of cases where we have come across those failing to do the right thing.

“However, as we have seen this week, the infection rate is again rising quickly and we must all act now to help stop the spread of the virus. We will be increasing our visibility across the county and working with our communities and partner agencies to support everyone to do the right thing for Warwickshire.

“As we have done throughout, we will continue to engage and explain the regulations but let me be clear, if people choose to ignore the rules and break the law they will now face stricter enforcement action.

“The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the ‘rule of six’ now doubles to £200 for a first offence. Fines can reach up to £10,000 for businesses that breach regulations and those who organise illegal social gatherings.

“All hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses have to close by 10pm and must offer table service or takeaway only. Social gatherings of more than six people – indoors or outdoors – are not allowed, and there is a legal requirement to self-isolate if you are instructed to do so by Track and Trace or if you test positive.

“We thank those who have complied with the rules and continue to do so. We know this is difficult, but we must remember why these restrictions are in place – to save lives during a public health crisis. We must all take personal responsibility to stop this virus spreading and, as we head into the first weekend under the rules, I would ask everyone to work with us to follow the new rules and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“I can’t end this message today without referencing the shocking news about an officer being shot dead in Croydon overnight. The thoughts of all at Warwickshire Police are with the family and friends of the officer and our colleagues in the Met at this tragic time, and we will be offering any support we can to them.”