‘Enjoy new freedoms but stick to the rules’ is the message for next step out of lockdown
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As the next step out of lockdown arrives, Northamptonshire Police is reminding people to enjoy their new freedoms responsibly and within the continuing Covid-19 rules.
Changes coming into force from today, Monday, April 12, include the reopening of non-essential retail, gyms, libraries and outdoor hospitality, but the message from the Force remains that people should continue to follow the rules or expect to be fined.
Police officers will be continuing to undertake Covid patrols, which will now include visits to licensed premises and in shopping areas, to ensure individuals and businesses are taking all the required steps to protect themselves and others from coronavirus.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, who leads the Force response to the pandemic, said: “While we’re as pleased as everyone else about taking this next step towards a more normal way of life, we must also remind people that the risk from Covid-19 remains and everyone needs to continue to play their part to keep the virus in check.
“Covid-19 legislation remains in place and our police officers will be continuing with enforcement action wherever necessary, so anyone who fails to follow the rules can expect to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice.”
To help keep shopping Covid-19 secure, Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Joint Enforcement Teams, run with partners from Environmental Health, will be running patrols in key areas, and working with shops to provide advice to ensure they are Covid-compliant once they reopen.
With restaurants, cafes, pubs and licenced premises also allowed to reopen for outdoor service, Northamptonshire Police will be repeating the work carried out in the night-time economy at the end of previous lockdowns, with extra officers on shift to ensure public safety and also compliance from both the public and licensed premises.
The Force is also working with local authority licencing and environmental health officers to conduct joint visits to help premises to be compliant, and support them in dealing with anyone in the business who is not complying with Covid regulations.
ACC Blatchly added: “As at every stage out of lockdown, we encourage people to continue to follow the rules. If you are out and about anywhere, from a park to a pub garden, remain in groups of no more than six people or two households, and follow the rules shops and licenced premises have put in place to ensure the spread of Covid-19 is contained, so the progress we have made as a county continues.”
Find out more about what is permitted under the Government’s road map out of lockdown, and the continuing rules around Covid-19, at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus