THE number of people in our county who have contracted Covid-19 continues to fall. This is thanks to everyone who has followed the rules by staying at home, avoiding unnecessary journeys and isolating when required to.
This week, children have returned to school. As restrictions ease, it is crucial we all continue to stick to the government’s guidelines to protect ourselves, our families and the NHS.
Any surge in cases could put unsustainable pressure on our local hospitals and lead to delays in implementing the government’s proposed timetable, which it has made clear will be guided by data, not dates.
Our officers will continue to engage with people, explain the regulations and encourage them to do the right thing.
But, where reasoned conversation is not successful, we will consider enforcement action.
On Thursday 4 March, a 20-year-old Colchester woman received a fixed penalty notice (FPN) after she hired a house in the town from Airbnb and invited four other people for a party to celebrate her birthday.
On the same day, a couple from Enfield were fined after travelling to Great Bentley for a break in their caravan. It is currently against the rules to go on holiday within the UK or abroad.
A 45-year-old Basildon woman received an unwanted birthday present on Sunday 7 March after she organised a party for up to 50 people. Officers issued a fine.
If you return from a trip abroad, it’s essential you quarantine for ten days after arrival.
Following a Border Force request to carry out an isolation check on Monday 8 March, our officers visited the home of a 30-year-old Aveley woman, who had recently returned to the UK, to find she had gone to the shops for a bottle of wine and some washing powder.
The same day, a 55-year-old Grays woman also received an FPN for breaching quarantine rules after going to the shops.
Finally, as we start to enjoy brighter evenings, please don’t make the same mistake this 23-year-old man from Chelmsford did. He told officers he’d driven to Shoeburyness to watch the sunset. This does not count as an essential journey and the man had his view spoiled by an FPN.
If you are thinking about organising a social gathering or making a non-essential journey, please reconsider, stay safe and stop the unnecessary spread of Covid-19.
We want you to continue to report Covid-19 breaches. You can report them via our website at www.essex.police.uk by using our digital 101 service, where you can speak to one of our operators via Live Chat, any day between 7am and 11pm.