Hundreds of people reported for ignoring lockdown in Suffolk

The lockdown has effectively pushed the country into recession. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The lockdown has effectively pushed the country into recession. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Police received hundreds of reports of people ignoring lockdown rules in Suffolk over the weekend – despite pleas for people to stay home.

The Government, police and NHS chiefs all made repeated pleas going into the Easter weekend, but there were still many who didn’t stick to the advice to stay at home and observe social distancing rules.

On Saturday, Suffolk police received 189 calls – a record high since the lockdown began – reporting possible breaches. There were 175 calls on Good Friday, while the figures for yesterday will be released today.

In total, on Friday and Saturday, officers issued 88 warnings to people.

MORE: Get the latest updates in our Suffolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook group

Senior police officers and government leaders have repeatedly warned people to stay away from beaches and tourist areas, and when out shopping or exercising to keep at least two metres away from other people.

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Households must not mix with other households – and government ministers have said it is not permitted to visit family or friends.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “The message remains the same over the rest of the Easter weekend, for people to follow the Government advice on social distancing. Unless your travel is essential, the only plans you should be making are to stay home and stay safe in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

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“We will continue to engage, educate and encourage with members of the public. The more the public comply with the restrictions now the more lives will be saved.”

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People should only leave home for essential shopping, one form of exercise a day, a medical need or to provide help to a vulnerable person, or travel to work if it is impossible to work from home.

Meanwhile, council officials in Ipswich have thanked park users in the town for obeying rules about using open spaces only to exercise – and treating parks staff with respect.

There were fears late last week that a fine bank holiday weekend would encourage people to use the parks for other reasons – including meeting up with friends and having picnics or drinking.

However after appeals through our newspapers and websites, park rangers reported there were very few people in parks who were not there for exercise as is permitted under the government instructions during the coronavirus crisis.

To report a breach of the COVID-19 instructions people can visit the police website.

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