Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF) is asking every Hertfordshire resident a big question: ‘Why are you out and about in lockdown 2.0? Is it really essential?’
With just under two weeks until the end of the current restrictions, we are appealing to the whole community to cut out unnecessary outings and to stay at home as much as possible to slow the rapid spread of coronavirus in our county.
‘Hertfordshire’s case numbers haven’t yet fallen as significantly as we need them to and I can’t help but think this is because more people have ignored the restrictions and carried on as normal rather than restricting themselves to essential outings, like they did in the first lockdown,’ said Darryl Keen, Director of Community Protection, Chief Fire Officer and chair of the strategic coordination group of the LRF.
‘Add to this the fact that many people who should be self-isolating have admitted that they are not, that they’re popping to the shops, for example, and it starts to make sense. I ask you, please, if you should be self-isolating, do it. Stop the spread. It’s down to us. Treat everyone you meet as if they have coronavirus. Get back to the basics: wash your hands regularly and for longer, stay two metres apart, wear a face covering. We all know how to play our part.’
Hertfordshire Constabulary Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls added: ‘None of us knows yet what restrictions will be in place from Thursday 3 December, but we do know that by doing the right thing now we can all help to control the spread of the virus.
‘I’ve got extra police officers out in communities working in partnership with local authorities, licensing authorities and businesses – engaging, explaining and encouraging people to act responsibly and follow the restrictions. Of course, they signed up to the police service to catch criminals, keep people safe and reduce crime, never expecting they would be told to challenge people to ensure they’re playing their part against a global pandemic.
‘We have issued well over 500 formal warnings and a number of fixed penalty notices in recent weeks and we will continue to take enforcement action if people blatantly flout the lockdown. Operation Sunrise continues with additional resources deployed across the county with patrols focused on high footfall areas like town centres, shopping areas and larger schools.’
If you are concerned that an individual is breaking the law or you are experiencing anti-social behaviour, you can report this to police, who will consider the most appropriate response and will target the most problematic behaviour. Reports should be made online at herts.police.uk/contact or via 101 wherever possible. In an emergency dial 999.
If you’re concerned that a business is breaching coronavirus rules, please contact your local district or borough council in the first instance.