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Nantwich residents have been warned to stay at home unless essential after Cheshire Police issued 58 fines over the weekend.

Police chiefs say since the new restrictions came into force last week, most have been sticking to the rules to help protect the NHS and save lives.

They say officers have been out and about in communities employing their engaging, explaining and encouraging people approach to comply with the coronavirus regulations.

But over the weekend January 9-10, they issued 58 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) across the county for what they called “blatant breaches of the rules”.

In comparison, 21 FPNs were issued across the county in December.

Most of the fines related to parties and gatherings.

A number of vehicles were also stopped carrying multiple occupants who were not from the same household or the Cheshire area and were travelling without a reasonable excuse.

In Crewe, officers issued three FPNs after a BBQ was held at a property.

And in Chester, eight FPNs were issued to people attending a house party after reports of loud music.

In Warrington, four FPNs were issued at a children’s birthday party, with one of the adults having travelled from Birmingham to attend.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “We have been living with some form of restrictions for around 10 months now and we have had to make incredible sacrifices in order to keep the ones we love safe.

“The majority of people living in Cheshire have been sticking to the rules in place and I would like to thank them for doing so.

“However, there is a minority who continue to blatantly and repeatedly flout the rules in place. This is not acceptable.

“Our officers will continue to engage, explain and encourage but when they are met with these persistent rule breakers who have no regard for the safety of others, we must do what we can to protect the NHS and save lives.”

New regulations were put in place on Wednesday January 6 to ensure people stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel – unless it is for one of the following reasons:

• To shop for basic necessities
• To exercise
• To go to work if you cannot do so from home
• To escape risk of harm

People can leave their homes to exercise outside alone, with members of the same household, linked household or linked childcare household (for children under the age of 13).

Residents can also meet with one other person who is not a member of a linked or same household for exercise in a public outdoor space.

ACC Sims added: “With the new variant of the virus it is now more important than ever that we follow the restrictions in place and do all we can to stop the spread.

“The guidance is clear about staying at home.

“In Cheshire, we are lucky to have a great amount of green spaces and beauty spots but if we are exercising, we must do our best to keep it local.

“Officers will do their job in keeping you safe and, in turn, we need you to follow the rules and stick to the guidance, which is in place to help protect you – and others.”

There are other exceptions to the rules which can be found on the Government website.

For further advice and guidance visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

To report a coronavirus breach visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/v7/tell-us-about-a-possible-breach-of-coronavirus-covid-19-measures/

(Image for display only, not related to COVID lockdown)

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