Police and Public Health urge residents to do the right thing for Warwickshire!
With infection rates rising across the country and new rules coming into place, Warwickshire County Council’s Public Health team and Warwickshire Police are working together to highlight the importance of keeping communities safe and why reducing the number of contacts we have, will reduce the rate of infection.
Data on infection rates and where the infection has been contracted is collected daily across the county, so that Warwickshire Public Health can identify trends and target their resources accordingly. Currently data both locally and nationally is showing that the virus has been spreading more rapidly, because of contact between families visiting each other’s homes or where large groups have been gathering either in their own homes or outside. Hence the reason for the introduction of not participating in social gatherings in any place in groups of more than 6. The new rule applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces.
Talking about staying safe, Director of Public Health, Warwickshire, Shade Agboola said:
“I know this might feel like a worrying time as we see infection rates rising, but I want to reassure you that we are continuing to do everything we can to keep you as safe as possible. One of the ways we are doing this is working together with our colleagues in the District and Borough Councils and Warwickshire Police to keep you updated regularly on any changes in national guidance and what they mean for people living in Warwickshire.
“On Monday new guidance came through on reducing the number of people who can meet together socially to 6, both when out in the community and within our own homes. I know for some, this may be frustrating, but the only way that we are going to reduce infection rates in Warwickshire is to reduce the number of contacts people have with each other, which in turn will reduce the amount of people the virus can spread to. In addition, it’s also important to remember, hands, space, face. To wash our hands regularly, to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and to stay at least 2 metres apart from those we do not live with when socialising or out in a public space.
“Equally, if you do show symptoms, that is, a raised temperature, a new, continuous cough or a change or loss of senses of taste or smell, then you must self-isolate and get a test. I know that some people have experienced delays in being able to get tested and whilst this is challenging, you are doing the right thing by staying home and self-isolating. New testing slots are being released twice daily, so do please continue to try and get a test if you have any symptoms. However, please do not book a test if you do not have any symptoms. It's only by working together that we can really make a difference. So please, let’s do the right thing and help to keep the communities of Warwickshire safer!”
Assistant Chief Constable Franklin-Smith from Warwickshire Police added: “The vast majority of the public in Warwickshire have followed the restrictions so far, making sacrifices to do so. We expect people will also take these new regulations seriously to protect themselves and their friends and family.
“Our approach to the new regulations will be to continue engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the new rules. However, we will disperse groups of over six and issue fines to those who refuse to comply.
“In most situations, police officers can resolve breaches without having to issue a fine. Where people just won’t listen, and are putting everyone at risk, we will take enforcement action.
“We will ensure we pay particular attention to those who regularly flout the rules and those areas where we are seeing the greatest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the county.”
As well as following the new ‘rule of six’, there are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:
- Hands - keep washing your hands regularly
- Face - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
- Space - stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.
Anyone wishing to report breaches of the Health Protection Regulations can do so online on the Warwickshire Police website - www.warwickshire.police.uk.
For more information on current guidance and information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus