Devon and Cornwall Police has urged residents to ‘step up’ as Covid-19 lockdown rules are eased.
The force will stick to its ‘4Es’ approach – engagement, education, encouragement and enforcement as a final resort – as the UK enters the next stage of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of restrictions.
From Monday, March 29, outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens, can take place between two households or groups of up to six people from different households.
There should still be no mixing indoors with people outside of your household or support bubble.
Outdoor sports facilities like tennis and basketball courts and golf courses and open-air swimming pools will be allowed to reopen.
People can take part in formally organised outdoor sports. Outdoor parent and child groups can also resume.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “The move to reduce Covid-19 restrictions will be welcomed by some communities, but it may cause anxiety to others.
“While some areas of Covid-related enforcement the police have undertaken will cease, the message to stay local and respect government guidelines to reduce risk does not change.
“Covid-19 has never been about policing a pandemic. While we are stepping back from some enforcement, I am asking the public to step up as Covid-19 has not gone away.
“Government advice is for people to stay local and avoid unnecessary travel and I echo that request, but I am also aware that many will wish to meet with loved ones outside.
“Devon and Cornwall Police will maintain the approach of the 4Es to the new legislation using engagement, education and encouragement to ask members of the public to comply with the regulations.
“My hope is the public will continue to act responsibly and comply.
“For those making plans to meet, please make sure you adhere to the rule of six, stay local but also think about the legacy you may leave; respect our wonderful beauty spots and take your rubbish with you.
“I would also ask you to be aware of the dangers that our coastline can pose in terms of swimming and surfing in the sea.
“We all want the pandemic to be over, and the only way for us to do this is to contain the virus, wear a face covering, stay local, and to keep practicing social distancing.
“Everyone has a social responsibility play their part to prevent the virus spreading and to see us make it to step two of the roadmap on April 12.
“Play your part and behave in a way that respects our communities and that will keep yourself and others safe.”
Further advice is available on the COVID-19 FAQs page on the Devon and Cornwall Police website.