‘Life is not back to normal’: police chief’s warning as high streets reopen

PUBLISHED: 12:29 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 11 June 2020

Norfolk Police's assistant chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, Julie Wvendth. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Police's assistant chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, Julie Wvendth. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary


Norfolk’s assistant chief constable has urged people to continue to abide by social distancing measures as high streets across the county prepare to reopen.

The nation has been in lockdown since late March as part of a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus and help relieve pressure on the NHS.

But in recent weeks restrictions have been lifted and next week high streets across the county will start to re-open as the country looks to emerge from the crisis and boost the economy.

But ahead of next week, Norfolk’s assistant chief constable Julie Wvendth has urged people to be careful and “remember coronavirus is still with us”.

She said: “Every aspect of life has been affected and we now find ourselves on a pathway towards some degree of normality…the re-opening of the high street will be one of the first major signals of this and we will have policing operations in place to support this, providing a visible presence in our city and town centres.

“This by no means suggests life is back to normal…social distancing remains key. Retailers will need to demonstrate they can operate safely for the benefit of both staff and customers. This pandemic is not over, we are still in the midst of a public health emergency and while it’s been a long road to date, it will be even longer if we don’t follow the government advice and maintain social distancing.

“As parts of our lives return to a new normal it’s important to remember we all have a role to play in going about our business safely, sensibly and considerate to others.”

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Miss Wvendth also reflected on the death of George Floyd in the US and the protests that have followed around the world, including at Eaton Park and the Forum in Norwich last weekend.

She said: “My colleagues and I stand alongside those who have been appalled and horrified by the killing of George Floyd. It is totally understandable that people want to make their voices heard and the right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy and we, the police, have a duty to uphold it.

“I would however encourage people taking part in demonstrations to remember why these health restrictions are in place: they are here to protect you and everyone else. Please remember social distancing to protect yourselves and others.”

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