Public Urged To Comply With Covid-19 Restrictions Over Festive Period

People across Wiltshire are being urged to follow the Government’s new restrictions for the Christmas period.

Following the announcement from the Prime Minister on Saturday, our communities are being encouraged to ensure they fully understand the new rules and what that will mean for any plans they had over the festive period.

This area continues to be in Tier 2, which means the current restrictions remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year, apart from Christmas Day when people can see a maximum of two other households.

For every day apart from Christmas Day, the “high alert” rules should be followed, and you can read more detail about these here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-2-high-alert

Over the past week, we have issued two fixed penalty notices for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations.

One was a retrospective fine issued to a woman in her 40s who had failed to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19 on 2 December.

The second was issued on 15 December to a man in his 20s in Chippenham, who had repeatedly failed to wear a face-covering at his place of work, despite previous warnings.

Between 14/12 and 20/12 Wiltshire Police:

• Issued two FPNs. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have issued 248 FPNs.
• Issued 27 verbal warnings to members of the public.
• Logged 126 reports of potential breaches of the restrictions, which were reported either over the phone or online.
• Recorded two Covid-related crimes and six Covid-related incidents.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said policing across Swindon and Wiltshire would continue 24/7 across Christmas and New Year and it was important that people ensure they understood the new Government restrictions and followed them carefully.

He said: “I am aware that the recent announcements made by the Government will mean that many people will have to change their plans for Christmas.

“Whilst this is upsetting for us all, it is vital that people across Wiltshire and Swindon ensure compliance with the regulations across the festive period.

“The latest scientific information from Public Health England shows that the new strain of the virus is accelerating at an alarming rate and we must all play our part in helping to stop its spread.

“We will continue to have our dedicated Covid police community support officers patrolling over the Christmas period, who will be working to keep us all safe. Traditionally this is a very busy time for the emergency services and I would ask people to also play their part in keeping themselves and their community safe.”

He added: “As many people prepare for a well-deserved break over the festive period, it’s important to remember that your local policing team will continue to be there when you need us at any hour of day or night.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: “I know that these changes to the rules will cause disruption and upset for so many people at the end of what has already been such a difficult year.

“But, we have to stay focused on the bigger picture.

“Yes, this Christmas and New Year will be very different, but I would urge you all to remember that keeping ourselves and others safe has to be our top priority, and we all need to make these necessary sacrifices now to help slow down the spread of Covid-19.”

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