Coronavirus: Concerns over lack of social distancing in north Shrewsbury
Officers from both Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police will step up patrols around the north Shrewsbury area following reports of people not social distancing.
Both organisations said they have had reports of people in the Harlescott, Sundorne and Kynaston Road areas not complying with the social distancing guidelines.
Residents have expressed concerns about people congregating in large groups. As a result, members of the council’s Community Reassurance Team and the police will be a visible presence in north Shrewsbury over the coming weeks.
Under the current national guidance, everyone must Stay at Home and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:
- For education (schools, colleges and universities)
- For work, if you cannot work from home;
- For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble, or on your own with one person from another household;
- For all medical reasons or medical appointments, and to escape injury or harm;
- To shop for food and essentials;
- And to provide care for vulnerable people.
You cannot meet socially indoors or in private gardens with family or friends unless they are part of your household – meaning the people you live with – or support bubble.
Individuals can meet one other person from another household outside in a public place. Children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care who are with their parents, will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside.
Ioan Jones, local Shropshire Councillor for Harlescott, said:
“This news is concerning, especially when you consider the rising cases across Shropshire.
“I know many people now are well and truly suffering from ‘COVID-19-fatigue’, but it is reckless of some residents to congregate in big groups.
“Ultimately, these people are going to be spreading and carrying the virus and passing it on to more vulnerable groups that could lead to more deaths in the long term.
“We are asking people to use their common sense, stay at home as much as possible and limit your contact with people outside your household and support bubbles.”
Inspector David Bettison, Shropshire’s Bronze lead for COVID-19 with West Mercia Police, said:
“Whilst we know that many people are keeping to the Government guidelines, there are still a number of people who are completely ignoring them. Not only does that pose a risk to themselves but to their families and the wider community.
“We cannot afford to be complacent and we won’t hesitate to use our enforcement powers.
“We have issued a number of fines already, and we are prepared to enforce the rules if need be. If we come across people not adhering to Lockdown, this includes people socialising in each other’s homes, more than two people from different households gathering together outside, and those who refuse to wear masks when required to do so, they will be fined.
“We all have a part to play in keeping each other safe, so please do keep following the legislation to help stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives.”
Step Up and help us stop the spread of coronavirus:
- Stay at Home
- Work from home, if you can
- You can only meet one other person not in your household or bubble, outdoors in a public place, socially-distanced.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
- Wear a face covering in indoor settings (food shops, workplaces) where social distancing may be more difficult, and where you may come close to people who are not part of your household or bubble.
- Anyone who has any symptoms should book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of the household receive a positive test.
- You can book a test by calling 119 or click here
For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.