Cases of COVID-19 are falling across Essex but it is important that we continue to stick to the regulations by staying at home and staying safe.
Thank you to everyone who has been playing your part to protect the NHS and save lives.
The Government’s Roadmap has provided four steps towards lifting restrictions and with nice weather expected this weekend, we know how tempting it might be to make non-essential journeys.
Our officers will continue to police the guidelines by engaging with people thought to be breaking them, explaining the rules and encouraging people to do the right thing. Sadly, a tiny minority continue to flout the rules and, so, where our officers come across this, they will take action.
During the past week, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued to: a 40-year-old Rayleigh woman hosting an 18th birthday party for more than 15 people - who all ran off when our officers arrived; a 33-year-old Colchester woman who travelled to Clacton after organising a surprise 60th birthday party to which she had invited several guests and a saxophonist; and to six men and women from different households who were in a group of people, aged from 61 to four, at a baby shower in Grays.
Unfortunately, people are still travelling outside their local area to exercise or to meet members of other households.
FPNs have been issued to people who have driven from London, Sheffield and Manchester to the Southend area for a day out. One 32-year-old man, from Hertfordshire, claimed he’d driven to the town to buy baby clothes and a baby monitor from a supermarket. And a 21-year-old woman received an FPN after she drove from Warwickshire to Chelmsford to visit her boyfriend.
A 21-year-old man who drove from Wickford to Great Dunmow to exercise his dog was issued with an FPN as he’d strayed outside his local area. FPNs were also issued to two men, aged 21 and 19, who were among around 20 adults and children playing basketball on a closed court in Old Heath Recreation Ground, Colchester, on Wednesday 24 February.
Staying home and staying safe is important to stop the spread of COVID-19. But last Friday 19 February, our officers had to issue an FPN to a 65-year-old Harlow man for leaving his home several times despite being required to self-isolate after returning from travelling abroad.
Our officers will continue to respond to clear and blatant breaches and, where they occur, work with our partners to resolve them.
Please continue to report COVID-19 breaches. You can report them via our website, where you can speak to one of our operators via Live Chat, any day between 7am and 11pm.