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Coronavirus

England moved into Step 4 of the government's COVID-19 roadmap on 19 July. 

This means that most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted:

  • You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.
  • However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
  • The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
  • There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
  • There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

During this transition, we would like to ask the public to please act responsibly.

The lifting of restrictions will mean that emergency services are in more demand, so we expect our calls for service to increase as restrictions lift.

Face coverings are no longer a legal requirement and nightclubs, theatres and other venues will re-open.

However, in line with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, police officers and staff will continue wearing face coverings and we would ask the public to continue to do so when visiting a police station.

Chief Inspector Andy Morrice said:

“The Government’s guidance is not legally enforceable by the police.

"As we enter step four out of lockdown we would encourage the public to think about the impact their actions may have on others. We are still at the height of the pandemic and Covid cases are rising substantially across the county.

“With more people out and about we do expect to see a rise in incidents such as domestic related abuse, drink driving and violence.

“The reopening of all venues means more people will be out and about, bringing an increased risk of offending. Following the lifting of lockdown in 2020, the Force received double the number of reports of domestic abuse.

“Please, take care while out and drink responsibly.”

As always, it is our priority to keep the public safe, and we expect roads across the county – particularly the coastal routes – along with re-opened venues, to become increasingly busy as people seek to enjoy the new freedoms offered.

East Operations Superintendent Mark Housley said:

“Whilst we anticipate some change linked with the lifting of lockdown restrictions and school holidays, particularly in respect of hospitality in coastal resorts, we are also cognisant that over the last few months with some easing of the rules we hope not to have some sort of ’big bang’ type change.

“We will experience increased traffic and the subsequent issues, increased numbers in the towns, on the beach, and those using licenced premises, which is really welcome and a positive uplift for our local economy.

“In seeking to ensure people are reassured, and protected from harm we will have additional resources in place.

“I would like to express the importance of our communities responding sensibly and responsibly to unlock and the summer holidays. We ask the public to be careful and respectful of each other in every respect, from Covid protection through to road use.

“We ask that people realise that our coastal towns are likely to be very busy and increased patience and tolerance might be required. With a little bit of care and consideration I am confident we can migrate to the next stage of unlock in a pleasant and positive way but will all have a part to play.”

If you need help, you can call us on 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency.

We will continue use our communication channels to signpost to the support available from our Domestic Abuse support service EDAN Lincs and the national helpline on 0808 2000 247. If you need a place where you can seek help away from your abuser, Safe Spaces are available in participating pharmacies and TSB bank.  See more information on our domestic abuse pages

We would like to thank the public for their support in what has been a challenging and difficult period.

Face coverings

The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

For supermarkets and other shops who ask their customers to wear a face covering, will police provide assistance if a person refuses?

We expect retailers to manage entry to their stores and compliance with their own individual requirements while customers are inside. As such, police would only get involved if called to deal with a disturbance, such as someone not complying and using abusive and/or threatening behaviour.

The government have recommended that people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with those they don’t normally meet – will police help encourage this?

This is no longer part of the regulations and is now guidance. As throughout the pandemic, government guidance is not legally enforceable by the police.

Will police still be wearing facemasks/PPE from 19 July?

Guidance to police officers and staff on the use of Covid PPE will remain beyond 19 July when the legal requirement is removed in England.

After consulting with staff unions and the Police Federation, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has written to all police forces to advise that the existing infection control measures used within policing should continue.

More details here: https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/police-officers-and-staff-to-continue-using-covid-ppe

Self-isolation

Do offences relating to self-isolation include the NHS Test and Trace app?

No, this does not apply where notifications are received by the app.

International travel

How will officers know if a person is fully vaccinated and doesn’t need to self-isolate after returning from an Amber or Red list country?

The government’s private security contractor will still receive referrals from DHSC, filtering out those who are fully vaccinated, and refer cases to the police where they believe a breach has occurred. This might mean a reduction in the number of referrals overall, and therefore for the police, but the process itself will not change.

Demand and policing priorities

Do you expect crime to increase now that lockdown has ended?

Although overall crime is marginally lower than this time in 2019, demand on the police remains significant. We expect it to increase over the coming months, given the end of lockdown.

We are ready to meet any increase in demand, at whatever pace it comes. As ever, we ask the public to stay vigilant, and to report any emergencies through 999.

What are the police’s priorities now that lockdown has ended?

Police’s efforts will shift more towards day-to-day policing, to prevent and tackle crime and keep communities safe. We believe this is what the public will want to see and expect from us. Please be reassured that all forces have robust plans in place to deal with any upturn in crime, including violence, and will clamp down on violent offenders.

19 Jul 21 3:34 PM

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