CORONAVIRUS: Police urge people to stay safe as restrictions eased from today

As lockdown rules ease further today, with pubs and restaurants allowing people inside once again, Lincolnshire Police is asking the public to help keep the force keep everyone safe.

Paul Timmins

The force says it expects roads across the county – particularly the coastal routes – along with pubs and restaurants, to become increasingly busy.

It says the reopening of hospitality venues and overnight accommodation means more people out and about, bringing an increased risk of offending.

Following the lifting of lockdown in 2020, Lincolnshire Police said it received double the number of reports of domestic abuse.

Chief Superintendent Paul Timmins said: “We, along with everyone across the county, are looking forward to another step in the direction of society returning to normal by reconnecting with our extended groups of friends and family in a safe way.

“The relaxing of the rules for hospitality venues, other attractions, and accommodation providers will be a welcome relief to sectors which may have struggled, and which are of huge importance to a county like ours; we are asking people to drink responsibly and use our roads safety safely so that this big milestone for those businesses, and their customers, isn’t marred with criminal activity.

“We’ve also got to remember that the easing of restrictions does not mean that lockdown has lifted completely, and we must continue to follow the guidance given. We want to reassure people that if they are concerned about restrictions easing rules that we are still there to protect them and will enforce the rules, and other offences, when needed.

“If you plan to take advantage of hospitality venues opening, please drink responsibly and remember to arrange alternative transport home.”

New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, people will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19, a force spokesperson said.

They added: “Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family. “

The new rules from 17th May are:

· Outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people will be allowed, and indoor gatherings of six people or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

· Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas can reopen.

· Indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events can resume.

· Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.

· Organised indoor sport will be able to take place,including gym classes.

· All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to six or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

· Funeral attendance will no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events will be increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.

· Care home residents can name up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.

· All higher education students will be able to access in-person teaching.

· Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits will increase to 30 people (not including under fives)

· There will no longer be a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. There will be a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.