Thanks paid to people who followed instructions to stay home over the weekend

Suffolk Police are thanking the majority of the public who followed government instructions to stay home and stay safe over the weekend.

However, while the majority have listened to the advice not to travel to tourist spots and parks, there are concerns over the number of people who ignored social distancing guidelines by visiting other households, including for BBQs and parties.

Suffolk Constabulary received 119 calls from members of the public reporting people ignoring the restrictions on Saturday, April 4, and a further 142 calls on Sunday, April 5.

Over the two days a total of 178 warnings were given to those in public or gathered at other addresses.

ACC David Cutler said: “I would like to thank the majority of the public who have listened to the government’s instructions to stay home and stay safe over the weekend.

“Our stance has been to engage and educate, but where people have breached the instructions we have taken appropriate action to enforce them.

“Sadly, there is still a minority who are choosing to flout the regulations and potentially put the lives of the public, and dedicated and brave NHS workers at risk. That is selfish and unacceptable in the current climate where so many families and key workers are making sacrifices for the greater good.

“Suffolk, along with the rest of the country, has shown its overwhelming appreciation for the NHS and carers by coming out to applaud them on the last two Thursday evenings.

“The fact that some people are then choosing to ignore these powerful gestures is perplexing and extremely frustrating.

“In a few days’ time it will be the Easter weekend. I hope the negative comments on social media following the last two days, and the number of heart-wrenching testimonies from doctors and nurses treating those suffering from this virus will cause these individuals to take a long, hard look at their behaviour and consider the danger they are potentially exposing themselves, their families, the public and NHS workers to.

“Our biggest concern is the number of people who have attended other households, particularly for barbeques or parties. The government guidelines are very clear and people should not be visiting friends or family. Joining friends and family is a big risk of spreading the virus and damaging the NHS’s ability to manage patient care.

“This virus does not discriminate between friends, families or strangers and it can be transmitted between anyone. If you are supporting relatives and friends in at risk groups – such as doing shopping for them – leave it on their doorstep and stay at least two metres away from them.

“I would urge people to show patience and restraint over the Easter weekend and 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. The more we comply with the restrictions now the more lives will be saved.”

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