Police warn officers still very much enforcing lockdown in South Shields, despite easing
Police have warned the public they will still be enforcing coronavirus restrictions, despite the latest easing.
The first steps of rolling back the latest national lockdown were taken this week, with schools reopening fully and two people allowed to meet outdoors.
But officers have insisted they will continue to enforce the remaining rules barring groups gathering and limiting trips outside the home.
“We’re doing a lot of work down at the foreshore on the weekends,” said Inspector Phil Baker, who is responsible for the West Shields and the Riverside areas of South Shields.
“We’re obviously still within that a significant part of that lockdown, although things are getting slowly released during the Prime Minister’s roadmap.
“We are engaging with the public there and we’re taking enforcement action, when we’re able to do it within the constraints of the government guidance and legislation.”
Insp Baker was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF), which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.
Since Monday, March 8, schools have been told to reopen, two people from two different households have been told they can meet outdoors for a ‘coffee or picnic’, while care home residents are allowed ‘one regular visitor’.
While enforcement has focused on the popular coast areas of South Shields, officers have also been patrolling the town centre.
Insp Baker also revealed regular meetings have been held with the borough council to prepare for further easing of restrictions ‘to make sure that runs smoothly’.
The next date for further lockdown restrictions easing is April 12.
From then, should conditions be met, non-essential retail, personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, will reopen.
Most outdoor attractions and settings will reopen, and hospitality venues can serve outside only.
Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen - but only for use by people on their own or with their household.
Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15 from the current six.