Police ‘won’t hesitate’ to enforce strict new coronavirus rules and hefty fines

Police have warned people flouting new coronavirus rules they "won't hesitate" to enforce the strict restrictions.

The Metropolitan Police said every area of the capital city will have resources dedicated to responding quickly to breaches of Covid regulations.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a televised address to the nation to announce a raft of new measures in a bid to get on top of the rising infection rate.

They include a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, wedding guests numbers limited to 15 people and a compulsory ruling that all retail staff, people using taxis and everyone using hospitality services must wear face covering.

Fines can rise to at least £200 for people not complying.

The Rule of Six, meaning people cannot meet in groups of more than six people, has been extended to include indoor sports teams.

Now the Met Police has said it will "not hesitate" to enforce the restrictions as a "last resort".

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, who is leading the force's response to the pandemic, said: "The vast majority of Londoners have stuck to the rules and responded positively to the unprecedented situation we are in. We thank them for that.

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"Throughout the last few months we have continued to step in where necessary to protect the public, even as the rules relaxed, with officers working hard to tackle challenging incidents such as unlicensed music events throughout the summer – sometimes facing extreme hostility and even violence.

"However, it is clear that there is a renewed need for everyone to do everything they can to minimise the risk of transmission of what is a potentially deadly disease – that means everyone following the rules.

"Our officers will help people do that and will explain to the public what those regulations are, however, they will also be firm and take appropriate action against those that simply refuse to follow the law and who are deliberately placing communities at risk."

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The Met also urged members of the public to inform them of any coronavirus-based breaches.

Mr Johnson said the restrictions could last for up to six months.

Government figures showed the number of new cases went up by 4,926 on Tuesday, with deaths increasing by 37.

On Monday Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance issued a stark warning in which they said cases could hit 50,000 per day by mid-October.

This would mean deaths reaching 200 a day a month later if the infection rate continues rising at the current level.

Mr Johnson even talked about calling in the Army to crackdown on people flouting Covid-19 regulations, leading to accusations of "martial law" on social media.

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