Force to focus safe nights out as further Covid-19 restrictions lift
Main article content
Northamptonshire Police is urging people to enjoy their increased freedoms, including the reopening of indoor hospitality, responsibly as the next step of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown gets underway.
As of today, Monday, May 17, a number of Covid-19 restrictions are being further lifted to allow more elements of normal life to resume, including people being allowed to meet indoors again, attend indoor leisure and entertainment venues, and undertake non-essential overseas travel.
However, Covid-19 rules will still apply to many of these situations – including indoor meetings being restricted to six people or two households, including in pubs and restaurants, and outdoor meetings being kept to 30 people or less – and officers will continue to use Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) where rules are not followed.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, who leads the Force response to the pandemic, said: “Like many people, we’re looking ahead to the reopening of more elements of ‘normal’ life, but we are still asking everyone to remember that we’re not out of the woods yet with coronavirus, and to continue to follow the rules as we move into step three of the Government’s plan.
“Going forward, our main Force focus will be on the reopening of the night-time economy (NTE), as pubs, bars and other licensed premises are able to start seated indoor service for groups of up to six people, or two households, and we are working with partners and venues themselves to continue to encourage people to stay safe, act responsibly and follow the rules when going out.”
To help keep people safe while back out enjoying a night out, the Force will once again have officers on patrols in key areas of the NTE, and swift action will be taken against anyone breaking the law or failing to abide by coronavirus regulations.
During the previous second step of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, which began on April 12, ACC Blatchly said most Covid-19 breach complaints received by the Force centred around house parties, large gatherings and concerns about behaviour around outdoor hospitality venues.
He added: “These are the areas where people have been sharing their frustrations about others not sticking to the rules – as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, most people have been doing the right thing, but some have not, and our officers have been continuing to carry out Covid patrols and to issue FPNs where required.
“Just last week it was announced that cases of the Indian variant of concern had been identified in Northamptonshire, which just illustrates that Covid-19 continues to be a threat to people’s health, and we need everyone to continue to play their part to help save lives.”
To report a suspected Covid-19 breach call 101, or go online at www.northants.police.uk/ro
Find out more about the new Covid-19 rules at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus