Coronavirus: Newham warns people to follow lockdown rules or face prospect of stricter limits

Newham Council has warned people to follow lockdown rules ahead of the long weekend. Picture: Ken Me

Newham Council has warned people to follow lockdown rules ahead of the long weekend. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The council has warned people to follow lockdown rules over the Easter weekend.

James Asser. Picture: LBN

James Asser. Picture: LBN - Credit: Archant

Cllr James Asser, cabinet member for environment, highways and sustainable transport, said: “We have some fantastic parks and open spaces which are still open to the public but let’s not use the promise of good weather to do more harm than good.

“While we may normally look to get out and have picnics or sunbathe, or play group sports, currently this presents a real risk to the safety of others.

“As tough as it may be to do so, remain indoors whenever possible so that we can save lives, protect our families and ease the pressure on vital public services.

“Our enforcement officers will be working with the Metropolitan Police to encourage people to follow the government advice,” he added.

The guidance is to only go out once a day, shop as close to home as possible for necessities, not to gather in groups and to keep two metres apart.

Cllr Asser said: “If people don’t do this, it could lead to much stricter restrictions on movement. And remember also, travelling on public transport should only be for critical workers who have to make absolutely essential journeys.

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“Help us to help you, and the community, by following the guidelines, respecting the travel rules and the restrictions in our parks. Let’s beat the virus together.”

Where council enforcement officers believe a person is outside their home without reasonable excuse, they will explain why the current restrictions are in place and encourage them to return inside.

If people refuse, the information can be shared with police who have powers under new government regulations to use reasonable force to make people go home.

Failure to do so could see the police issue a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will go up to £120 if people are caught committing the offence a second time.

People who are concerned about public gatherings of more than three people can call the police on 101.