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Police chief pleads for public ‘to protect the NHS and save lives’ during bank holiday weekend

PUBLISHED: 15:46 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:55 09 April 2020

Police patrol on the promenade at Hunstanton beach over the Easter bank holiday. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Police patrol on the promenade at Hunstanton beach over the Easter bank holiday. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Norfolk Constabulary’s chief constable has pleaded for people to “save lives and protect the NHS” by following social distancing guidelines designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic during the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk’s senior police chief, has issued his call for responsible behaviour ahead of a bank holiday weekend when fine weather conditions are largely predicted.

The Met Office forecasts temperatures up to 17C on Friday and 20C on Saturday, with little chance of rain and only light winds. Sunday’s maximum temperature is predicted to be 15C, with a 40pc chance of rain during the afternoon and Monday is set to be chillier, with winds picking up.

The coronavirus lockdown continues into the Easter weekend after six further deaths in Norfolk’s hospitals took the county’s death toll to 75 as of 5pm on Tuesday, with the national figure rising by 938 to a total of 7,097 deaths related to Covid-19 in hospitals.

Mr Bailey said: “We are now 16 days into the government enforced lockdown. The lockdown was directed by the prime minister for two very simple reasons: to save lives and to protect the NHS.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable. Picture: ArchantSimon Bailey, Norfolk Constabulary's chief constable. Picture: Archant

“Last weekend Norfolk Constabulary received over 300 calls from members of the public, the majority of which were concerned about behaviour of other members of the community.

“As we head into the Easter bank holiday weekend, I really hope those people who chose to flout the guidelines and ignore the advice last weekend will reflect on the number of cases we have in the county, they will respect the rationale for the guidelines and everybody will take that advice, stay in, maintain social distancing and ensure that we as a county are doing our best to protect the NHS and to save lives.”

Last weekend police in Norfolk gave out 109 warnings and issued 16 court summons, with people sunbathing moved on and incidents such as a house party being broken up - due to public gatherings of more than two people being temporarily banned.

MORE: Emergency services and councils’ joint plea for Norfolk public to spend Easter at home

Government guidelines state that people should not have contact with anyone outside their own household and that leaving the house is allowed for “very limited” purposes, described as...

- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.

- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.

- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

- Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

You can watch Mr Bailey’s statement in full in the video above and for further information, go to the goverment’s coronavirus website.

- Click here to subscribe to our daily coronavirus newsletter, with all the latest from where you live

- Keep up to date with community efforts during the pandemic in our Norfolk and Waveney Here to Help group on Facebook


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