Covidiot crackdown: Priti Patel to unveil strict punishments in major address to nation

UK lockdown: Police officer calls on public to ‘do their bit’

The Home Secretary is expected to make a direct appeal to the public to follow the lockdown restrictions in England, warning police will take tough action on those who don’t. Ministers are worried Brits are bending the rules as the country suffers lockdown fatigue nearly a year on from the start of the pandemic.

At 5pm, Priti Patel will order the public to abide by the draconian measures or face being slapped with a police fine.

Speaking to the media this morning, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said officers would be less flexible on those breaking rules going forward.

She said: “We have said last week, and again today, that we are moving more quickly to enforcement.

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“We will move more quickly to enforcement, and particularly where somebody is breaking the law, breaking the regulations, and if it is absolutely clear that they must have known, or do know that they are, then we will move very swiftly to enforcement and fining people.”

She said it was “preposterous” 10 months on from the start of the pandemic that anyone could claim to be unaware of the need to follow the stringent measures designed to curb Covid-19 cases.

She added the police in London had issued more than 300 notices in the space of 24 hours for “flagrant” violations of the regulations.

On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he “absolutely” supported the police taking tough action to enforce the rules warning “every flex can be fatal”.

He added: “These rules are not there as boundaries to be pushed, they are the limit to what people should be doing.”

Yesterday, a further 46,169 people tested positive for the virus, with 404,955 cases recorded in the last seven days.

Covid cases have risen by 5.5 percent over the past week as the third wave of the pandemic continues to spiral out of control.

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