The Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro is urging the Surrey public to continue following Covid-19 restrictions after the government announced social gatherings of more than six people will be banned from Monday.
The PCC said it was vital the county’s residents maintained their efforts to follow the rules to combat the spread of the virus and help avoid another national lockdown.
The new measures were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday after the number of Covid-19 cases nationwide rose steadily over the last few days.
From Monday, any indoor or outdoor social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law. Police will have the power to disperse any groups and anyone breaching the restrictions could face a £100 fine or arrest if officers think it is proportionate and necessary.
Surrey Police have so far been successfully following the four E approach to dealing with any breach of the Covid-19 restrictions – Engage. Explain. Encourage. Enforce.
Officers will try to engage with someone, explain how they are breaking the rules, and encourage them to change their behaviour to reduce the risk to public safety and health.
If people still do not follow the rules the police can order them to disperse, tell parents to stop their children breaking the rule or issue a fine. If someone continues to ignore the instructions, the police can arrest them.
PCC David Munro said: “The response of the Surrey public to the Covid-19 restrictions has so far been fantastic and I would like to thank everyone for the measures they have taken to tackle the spread of the virus.
“I would ask everyone to keep that effort up and abide by the new ‘Rule of Six’ restrictions that will come into force from Monday.
“Policing the Covid-19 restrictions will no doubt place extra demand on Surrey Police and I believe the four E approach they have taken so far is the right one and enforcement should only be the last resort.
“I will be paying close attention on behalf of the public to ensure that approach continues to be the best way to ensure these restrictions are effective.
“Whilst the infection rate in Surrey remains low, we have seen spikes in a few areas and we must take all treat these new measures with the seriousness they deserve. Limiting social contact and minimising interaction with other households will be the best way to avoid potentially heading towards another lockdown.”