People are being urged not to risk undermining efforts to tackle the coronavirus crisis when restrictions are eased next week.

Non-essential retail will reopen from Monday (12th April) while pubs will also be allowed to serve drinks outside.

But people can still only gather in groups of six outdoors.

Superintendent Mark Ward, head of neighbourhood policing at Staffordshire Police, said:

“It has been a challenging 12 months for everyone and the vast majority of residents across the county have made huge efforts to stick to the rules and do their bit in reducing the number of Covid-19 cases. 

“But it is vital that we don’t put all our efforts at risk. 

“While people should quite rightly see this is as the first stage of normality slowly returning and enjoy themselves in a safe way, the rules are still very clear.

“We must continue to be responsible and do what we can to keep ourselves and each other safe from coronavirus so we can safely unlock a more normal way of live again.

“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to engage and explain the rules and encourage people to follow them, only using enforcement as a last resort.”

Supt Mark Ward, Staffordshire Police

Police say they will also be targeting illegal gatherings that breach the coronavirus regulations.

“As restrictions continue to ease our focus will be on large indoor gatherings, like parties and illegal raves.

“Anyone who is organising or attending these does not need the regulations explaining to them, and in situations like this, our officers will quickly move to enforcement.”

Supt Mark Ward, Staffordshire Police

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