Last week step one of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions took place on Monday 8 March, which included the reopening of schools and two people from different households being able to meet outdoors. This slight change in the restrictions does not mean we are out of lockdown and all other Government led regulations still apply, including meeting people in large groups.
Over the weekend GMP has issued 135 fixed penalty notices with many being issued to people meeting up indoors or meeting in groups of 15 or more people. Many calls are made in to the police from the public with reports of breaches and we will respond to them due to the ongoing lockdown rules and to support the NHS in their fight against this virus.
We have also had to issue a number of fines to people who have travelled to Manchester Airport to wave a friend or relative off. Under the current regulations this is not allowed as having more people in the terminal is risking the health of others. Superintendent Chris Downey said:
"I was working this weekend and covering all COVID related incidents. It was really disappointing to see the number of people breaching the regulations even though we are still in a national lockdown.
"We absolutely understand the frustrations felt, many people are now having a second birthday in lockdown, many have had to wait a year for wedding celebrations and more, but we are all so close to being able to celebrate with friends and loved ones without worry of a financial penalty, which can often be £800 or more. We don't want to have to give anyone a fixed penalty notice, especially in the current situation, however when we are faced with a clear breach of the rules, we unfortunately have to take enforcement action in an effort to protect people.
"There was some slight easing to restrictions last week, however the date for the next step is subject to change based on the level of infection rates. If the regulations are not adhered to this could increase the spread of COVID, meaning the date is pushed back for everyone. We all want to get out of lockdown, but we need to work together to make sure we continue to do our bit."
Number of FPNs given
Indoor gathering of two or more people - 90
Public of more than two people - 14
Airport - 3
House party of over 15 people - 23
Failure to self-isolate after international travel - 2
Out of place of home without a valid reason - 3