Covid A-level party warning issued by police chief

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Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey

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Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey urged A-level students to “be mindful of the regulations”

Students celebrating their A-level results have been reminded by a police chief not to spoil “a joyful occasion” by ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules.

Greater Manchester’s Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey warned against organising or attending parties, saying fixed penalty notices could be issued.

The conurbation saw 1,106 reported breaches of lockdown rules last weekend – 25% more than the previous weekend.

Enhanced Covid-19 restrictions were reintroduced in the area on 31 July.

New legislation came into effect five days later for Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

The rules ban those from separate households mixing with each other in their homes or gardens. People are allowed to visit pubs, bars and restaurants with members of their own household, however.

Of the 1,106 reports received by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) between 7 and 9 August, 540 related to house parties, while 48 pubs were accused of breaching lockdown regulations.

Officers attended 40 incidents, arrested 10 people and issued 11 fixed penalty notices.

‘Blatant breaches’

Mr Bailey said: “I understand that A-level results are coming out this week and people will rightly want to celebrate.

“However, please be mindful of the Covid-19 regulations in your celebrations as we do not want to spoil what should be a joyous occasion by issuing fixed penalty notices at any house parties or illegal gatherings.

“It is worth noting that recent spikes in Greater Manchester which led to the additional restrictions were centred around house parties with 17 to 18-year-olds.”

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Stricter restrictions were reintroduced in Manchester on 31 July

Mr Bailey added that “where people continually flout the rules, we will act”.

A force spokesman said following the reintroduction of restrictions, officers were told only to enforce “blatant breaches”.

Officers stopped an “illegal car meet” in Wigan and two large gatherings in Salford and Rochdale, he added.

Urging people to follow the rules, Mr Bailey said Greater Manchester was “very much still in the middle of a pandemic” and while he understood the desire to “return to normality as soon as possible”, the regulations must be followed.

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