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Residents urged to stay at home ahead of first phase of relaxing coronavirus restrictions

Residents are being urged to continue to stay at home ahead of the first phase of relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions next month.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a four-step road map, with strict conditions, for gradually lifting coronavirus restrictions throughout Spring and Summer.

The first step, on Monday 8 March, will see schools and colleges reopen and allow the public to take part in recreation or exercise outdoors with their own household or one other person outside their household.

As we move to the next stage of our fight against coronavirus officers in Cheshire will continue to provide support to the public and local businesses with our approach of engage and explain but will move to enforce when there are blatant and repeat breaches.

However, for the time being, residents must continue to stay at home to protect their families and friends and to reduce the spread of the virus.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “We’re still at a critical stage of the pandemic which has seen more than 120,000 people lose their lives. Since the start of the January lockdown, officers in Cheshire have issued more than 900 FPNs.

“These fines have been issued for a range of blatant breaches, but we are continuing to see cases where people are visiting friends in other households, holding parties and travelling without reasonable excuse.

“It is really important that, although there is light at the end of the tunnel, we must continue to comply with the restrictions in place to keep infections down in a bid to move forward with each of the four steps that the Prime Minister outlined in his speech last week.

“The rules are clear and our officers will continue to engage with the public and explain the rules in place but when they are met with blatant and repeat breaches they will not hesitate to enforce.

“Our dedicated coronavirus patrols will continue to support the majority of Cheshire residents sticking to the rules and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against the small minority who choose to ignore this.

“I would urge you all to continue with your efforts in staying at home and only leaving for limited exceptions.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “We must all continue to be cautious with each relaxation of the restrictions in order to get back to some form of ‘normality’.

“We must all work together to drive down coronavirus cases and in order to do this, we must all continue to stay at home, only leaving for limited circumstances, until restrictions are lifted by the Government.

“I would like to thank the majority of the Cheshire public for the sacrifices they have made in sticking to the rules.”

For further advice and guidance please visit the Government website.

To report a coronavirus breach visit the Cheshire Police website.

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