January 12, 2021 5.57 pm This story is over 40 months old

Police told to “move quickly” to tackle COVID-19 breaches

No new powers… yet

Police will move quicker to issue lockdown fines, but no new regulations or punishments have been announced by the government to tackle COVID-19 breaches.

Home Secretary Priti Patel led a press briefing on Tuesday evening where she said police officers would enforce regulations and that she “will back them to do so to protect our NHS and save lives”.

However, she said “a minority of people are putting the health of the nation at risk by not following the rules”.

She did not tighten any of the rules around COVID-19 lockdown during the briefing.

“Our police officers are now moving more quickly to issue the fines, where people are clearly breaching coronavirus regulations,” she said, adding that nearly 45,000 fines had been issued so far across the United Kingdom.

“[They] are not immune from the virus, far too often they’re having to risk their own lives and their own health by coming into close contact with people, including those who deny the very existence of coronavirus to keep us all safe.

“The police and fire service staff throughout this pandemic have been on the front line, helping the local communities. They are the very best of us all and I know that the public share my gratitude for their incredible contribution,” she said.

Ms Patel said the country was “now at a critical stage in our battle against this virus”.

She added that police were there to help the most in need, including those at risk of domestic abuse.

She reminded people that they can leave their home to escape harm and seek refuge.

Lincolnshire Police issued 367 COVID-19 enforcement fines since the start of the pandemic between March and December last year.

The force has recently been further cracking down on breaches in the county including mixed households collecting fast food and a driver on a road trip visiting football grounds across the country.