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Police chief praises people for sticking to social distancing during the warm weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:38 17 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:38 17 May 2020

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary. Picture: Submitted

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary. Picture: Submitted

Submitted

Norfolk’s chief constable has praised people across the county for sticking to social distancing rules on the first weekend since lockdown was eased.

People walking along the promenade in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian BurtPeople walking along the promenade in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

Simon Bailey said there were “contrasting pictures” in terms of how busy places were and added the good weather was a factor in the numbers of people in some areas.

Sgt Jennifer Hills on patrol in Hunstanton, the weekend after lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Ian BurtSgt Jennifer Hills on patrol in Hunstanton, the weekend after lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Ian Burt

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He said: “The weekend has been unsurprisingly very busy. What we have seen is where towns and villages offering takeaway facilities it has been very busy but there has been very clear social distancing. Where those facilities and car parks have been closed it has been very quiet.

The cliff top car park in Hunstanton has reopened. Picture: Ian BurtThe cliff top car park in Hunstanton has reopened. Picture: Ian Burt

“The most important message is that people have been adhering to social distancing which is good news.”

Great Yarmouth on Saturday, May 16. PHOTO: Reece HansonGreat Yarmouth on Saturday, May 16. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

The chief constable said that very few fines - in single figures - had been given out to people who breached social distancing and lockdown restrictions.

PC Francine Heath and PC Glenn Barnes in the Police ATR patrolling the beach near the cliffs in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian BurtPC Francine Heath and PC Glenn Barnes in the Police ATR patrolling the beach near the cliffs in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

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He added that when his officers did give out advice or warnings to people about the ongoing restrictions they took the information well and were understanding.

The stay at home message for England from the government was dropped by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week and replaced with stay alert.

People can now leave their homes as much as they want to for exercise, picnics or sunbathing, as long as they are not experiencing coronavirus symptoms or clinically vulnerable.

Households drive as far as they wish in England as long as they return back home that day. Staying in holiday homes or second homes is not allowed.

People can also meet one other person who is not from their household in a public open space, as long as they stay two metres apart.

There were fears that coastal beauty spots would be overcrowded this weekend but some car parks, including the one a Beach Road in Wells and Overstand beach, remained shut.

For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page.

Click here to find out more about the EDP’s Here to Help campaign.

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