Suffolk's police urge residents to stay disciplined and follow rule of six law over Easter to stop coronavirus rates rocketing
Police have warned party-goers and organisers of illegal raves they will be fined for coronavirus rule breaches, as Suffolk enters its first weekend of freedom after months of being forced to stay at home.
Suffolk Police have today said residents must stay disciplined over the four day Easter weekend, and only meet people outside, to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Temporary Superintendent Simon Mills warned that officers would not 'hesitate to take enforcement action where necessary, where there is a blatant or persistent disregard for the law'.
"We, like we hope the people of Suffolk, are cautiously optimistic about the future but we still cannot be complacent and we urge you to use carefully considered judgement," he said.
"Minimise travel, don’t car share, avoid places that are likely to be busy, stay outdoors and wherever you are please return home at the end of the day with no overnight stays."
As part of the government's stay at home rule on Monday as coronavirus rates continued to plummet, but has said no more than six people or two households can meet outside.
There is 'guidance' to stay local, but this is not enforceable by police officers because it is no longer the law. From Suffolk you can visit any part of England, but you cannot stay overnight.
T/Supt Mills said: "With Easter this weekend we will be focussing on those locations that are likely to draw large numbers of people over the long weekend so we will have visible presence.
"We will also focus on breaches of the rules where indoor gatherings are concerned such as parties or profit-motivated events and/or raves."
This tough approach to enforcing the rule of six comes amid warnings from experts that not following social distancing rules could see rates spike despite more than half of adults in the country having at least the first dose of their coronavirus-busting jabs.
And T/Supt Mills urged everyone to 'play their part and do the right thing, as the vast majority of people in Suffolk have done over the past 12 months'.
"We still need to guard against complacency such as the threat of new variants and while the roadmap rolls out over the coming weeks, we still need to protect ourselves, each other and the NHS by abiding by the restrictions," he said.
In Suffolk the rolling average of cases stands at just under 40 new infections a day. This is the lowest since October.
According to the latest government data, 29,702 infections have been recorded in the county and 1,396 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.