UK's coronavirus death toll leaps by 260 in a single day to hit 1,019

UK’s coronavirus death toll leaps by 260 in a single day to hit 1,019: Britain suffers its worst day yet with huge spike in victims as more than 17,000 have now been infected

  • London hospitals recorded the highest number of new deaths at 54, followed by 19 at those in West Midlands
  • Public should leave home only to shop for groceries, medical care, travel to work or exercise – just once a day
  • Senior government adviser suggests figures will rise further in coming days, with peak likely to hit at Easter
  • It comes as people continue to flout lockdown rules around the country, with new powers becoming available
  • North Wales Police set up a Covid-19 checkpoint and has turned away English people arriving for a ‘holiday’
  • Beaches and parks still have daily visitors up and down the UK, despite the repeated warnings to stay home
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Britain’s coronavirus death toll rocketed by 260 to 1,019 today as Government advisers warned that even stricter social distancing measures could be on the way. 

It is the biggest daily increase the UK has seen, the Department of Health and Social Care said on today. 

A total of 120,776 coronavirus tests have taken place, with 17,089 positive results and 103,687 people testing negative.

Members of the public exercising closely with a personal trainer at Paddington Recreation Ground in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise

The latest figures come after Scottish Secretary Alister Jack revealed he had developed mild symptoms of coronavirus and was self-isolating.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is already having to lead the response to the pandemic from Downing Street after he was diagnosed with the disease.

He has been accused of failing to follow his own social distancing rules after Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty began self-isolating with symptoms. 

Government advisers said stricter social distancing policies may have to be rolled out next month if the grim figures continued to rise. The measures would be introduced in three weeks as the outbreak reached its peak to further reduce ‘person-to-person interaction’.  

This week France announced that individuals could only exercise alone – unless with children – for a maximum of an hour and within 1,000 yards of their homes. Spain and Italy have banned exercise altogether, and there are concerns that Britons are deliberately misinterpreting the guidance by travelling to beauty spots miles from their homes. 

People exercise in the early morning sun at Hyde Park in central London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19

The Lake District (pictured today) has been closed to prevent visitors flooding to the area, thought to be the first time ever done, as the nationwide lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak

Britain’s police chiefs are begging millions of Britons to adhere to Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown as they admit to being powerless to enforce it. 

Forces across the country are understood to be confused and divided over the rules and the sweeping powers afforded by the emergency laws.

Guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council states people must stay at home except for medical reasons, essential shopping, or for once-daily exercise.   

Police took full advantage of their new authority, using the new emergency powers within the first 12 hours of them being ratified by MPs.

However, the likes of Derbyshire and Lincolnshire – which have used drones to track and shame dog walkers before posting online – have faced charges of ‘overzealousness’ from ex-MPs, lawyers, and human-rights group.

The Times reports that the NPCC is privately displeased by some of the more excessive measures officers have taken to enforce the lockdown.

But NPCC boss Martin Hewitt is urging Britons to obey the rules as police chiefs admit they are powerless to prevent people from exercising more than once a day.

Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire Sara Glen told the newspaper: ‘There is nothing in the legislation that talks about once-a-day exercise. 

It talks about exercise only with a household member.’  

‘The law doesn’t say once a day. The law doesn’t specify what that type of activity might be. Many people need to be out in the fresh air. 

‘We don’t want everyone driving to the same area to do their exercise. 

‘All we are saying is exercise on your own or with other household members, not where there are other people.’  

Yesterday’s figures show that London hospitals recorded the highest number of new deaths at 54, followed by West Midlands hospitals with 19. But these numbers do not include patients who die at home or in care homes, meaning the true number may be higher. 

A senior government adviser suggested the figures would continue to rise for at least the next three weeks, meaning the peak is likely to hit at Easter. The adviser said hospitals ‘should be OK’, but admitted ‘we can’t guarantee it’ and stressed some intensive care units may struggle to cope. 

And should the number of deaths rise significantly, ‘greater enforcement’ of social distancing policies would have to be introduced. This would include ‘anything that can be done to push it (down) further’ and prevent people catching the disease. 

The adviser added: ‘I expect death numbers to increase over two, three or four weeks, and then to gradually decrease.’ Officials were generally ‘very happy’ with the levels of compliance with social distancing guidance, despite some Britons travelling some distance to beauty spots in the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales to exercise. 

The advice says the public should leave their house only to shop for groceries, provide or receive medical care, travel to work or exercise, which is limited to once a day. The total number of confirmed cases in the UK now stands at 14,543, up from 11,658. But this is a huge underestimate of the true figure as most patients with the virus are not being tested. 

Professor Jim Naismith, an expert in structural biology at Oxford University, said: ‘Although Covid-19 is a mild disease for over 80 per cent of us, today’s deaths will have come as a terrible blow to families. The increase in the deaths are following the exponential pattern predicted. 

This means we are likely to continue to see further increases in the numbers of daily deaths until social distancing measures have their effect. ‘The deaths tomorrow and in the days ahead will be of people who were infected before the social distancing measures were implemented. 

I understand the temptation to live on each day’s numbers, but what matters is what is ahead of us and what we can do to save lives.’ Dr Mike Tildesley, of the University of Warwick, added: ‘We may expect to see the number of daily confirmed cases continue to climb, before starting to decline once the current social distancing measures start to have an effect.’ 

In other coronavirus developments today: 

  • Police chiefs want Britons to snitch on any neighbours they suspect of breaching the coronavirus lockdown  
  • Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have created a mixture of ‘hotlines’ and ‘online portals’ where people can submit tip-offs if lockdown infractions occur
  • Images from inside ExCeL Centre show construction work to transform the exhibition centre into a  hospital
  • Andy Burnham has said that hundreds of firms in Manchester have remained open ‘without good reason’
  • Workers who have not taken a holiday because of the crisis will be able to carry it over into the next two years
  • NHS staff to be tested for coronavirus from next week at places including Chessington World of Adventures
  • The coronavirus social distancing limit is four times too short, Massachusetts Institute of Technology warned 

Members of the public jogging in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise

An elderly woman wears a mask as a precautionary measure against covid-19, as people take their daily exercise in Battersea Park in London

People walk and jog to get their daily exercise allowance in Battersea Park in London today as part of their daily exercise

A group of friends flouting social distancing advice by enjoying a picnic and smoking shisha pipes at a popular beauty spot in the Peak District last week

The first NHS workers to be tested at the drive facility in Surrey NHS testing centre being built at Chessington world of adventures in Surrey

A marketplace operates an entry system in Grantham, Lincolnshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

A police officer talks to a cyclist at Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise

Doctors and nurses have begged people to stay indoors during the coronavirus pandemic, pleading with people to stay at home and save lives. 

But sun-seekers were seemingly oblivious today as they soaked up the rays in Southsea, Bournemouth and Somerset. 

The Prime Minister has stressed that unless you are a key worker or helping someone vulnerable, the only reasons to go outside are to go shopping for essentials, exercise once a day or fulfil any medical needs.

Police encouraging Britons to snitch on neighbours suspected of breaching lockdown 

Police chiefs are encouraging Britons to snitch on neighbours suspected of breaching Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown.

Humberside Police have created a ‘hotline’ where people can submit tip-offs if they flout social distancing rules, including gatherings of more than two people.

West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have also established online forums for ‘snoopers’ keen to punish rule-breakers.

The portals have been made in response to an increase in the number of calls to the non-emergency 101 number since Monday.

This comes as police up and down the country exercise their new powers to enforce the coronavirus lockdown – stopping people having picnics and dog walkers in the Peak District by chasing them with drones. 

Police chiefs are encouraging Britons to snitch on neighbours suspected of breaching Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown.

Humberside Police have created a ‘hotline’ where people can submit tip-offs if they flout social distancing rules, including gatherings of more than two people.

West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have also established online forums for ‘snoopers’ keen to punish rule-breakers.

The portals have been made in response to an increase in the number of calls to the non-emergency 101 number since Monday.   

Despite this, forces yesterday were facing accusations of being overzealous as they use the sweeping new powers to crack down on people flouting the rules, using road blocks, drones and helicopters to enforce it. 

Officers have already issued fines less than 24 hours after new laws were brought into force, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has said.  

Those who ignore the tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days – and another for £120 for a second offence. But fines could reach £1,000-plus for repeat offenders.

Equipment being setup at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital – the NHS Nightingale hospital, comprising of two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus

The military and contractors build the Nightingale Hospital at the Excel in London for Covid-19 patients

The ExCeL London Centre is being refitted to create thousands of new beds for COVID-19 sufferers, complete with oxygen, ventilators and other key equipment in the battle against the deadly virus 

The exhibition centre, in East London, will become the NHS Nightingale Hospital, creating an impressive 4,000 beds

Ambulance staff and health workers outside the ExCel Center in London today. The NHS is anticipating a Coronavirus ‘tsunami’ as the peak f infarction rates nears. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that Britons can only leave their homes for essential reasons or may be fined, in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus

Shoppers keep their distance as they wait for a Tesco store to open in Leatherhead, Surrey. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have tested positive for the virus and are now self isolating

A Sussex Police patrol car moves amongst people walking along the promenade in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

Home Office reveals new powers to tackle people flouting the coronavirus lockdown 

  • Up to two years in prison if you cough deliberately on someone after spate of attacks on police and emergency service workers
  • People who continue to flout coronavirus lockdown rules will be breaking the law and can be arrested as part of new enforcement powers announced by the Home Office.
  • Officers can also tell them to go home, leave or disperse an area and ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the law.
  • Those who refuse to comply could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
  • Second-time offenders could be issued a fixed penalty notice of £120, doubling on each further repeat offence.
  • Those who do not pay the penalty can be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose fines up to £1,000 or more; 

Elsewhere, the Met Police today fined a bakery boss £80 for criminal damage after she put temporary lines outside her shop to keep her customers safe from coronavirus.

The extraordinary incident took place outside the Grodzinski bakery in Edgware, north-west London, this morning, when police spotted the owner using a can of non-permanent spray chalk to help maintain social distancing of two metres. 

The officer told the flabbergasted woman that she had graffitied the pavement and if police failed to punish crimes like these there would be ‘anarchy’, adding: ‘I can’t help the law. We’re also fining people for congregating – is that wrong too?’.

The woman, who gives her name as Gemma, confronts the officer and says: ‘This is not graffiti, it’s chalk, it washes off. So you would rather all my customers don’t stand two metres apart? I’m doing it for people’s safety – to stop the spread of coronavirus’, to which the officer replies: ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s criminal damage. It’s the law’.

The officer then tells her she needs to wash it off or she ‘will be committing another offence’, and she says to protect her customers she will happily ‘get another ticket, and another ticket and another ticket. I don’t care’. 

A witness who filmed the incident told the policeman: ‘People are dying and this is what you care about, this is ridiculous, this is horrendous’ and the officer replies: ‘The law doesn’t stop unfortunately. It’s still a criminal offence. The law is the law and it doesn’t change because of what is happening. There would be anarchy in the world’.    And a council is facing a furious backlash today after targeting members of the public with drones, as lawyers warned that police are ‘unlawfully’ trying to restrict people travelling to isolated spots to exercise and walk their dogs.  

A mostly empty marketplace in Grantham, Lincolnshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

Members of the public walk in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise

Members of the public walk in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of coronavirus

The first NHS workers to be tested at the drive facility in Surrey NHS testing centre being built at Chessington world of adventures in Surrey. The theme parks car parks are now being used as a drive through testing centre

Members of the military push a trolley of equipment at the back of the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London today

People take their daily exercise allowance in Battersea Park in London today. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock — both announced Friday they had tested positive for COVID-19

Police patrol the beach on March 28, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming more than 25,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more

Officers have already issued fines to people breaching coronavirus lockdown rules, less than 24 hours after new laws were brought into force, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has said.  

Those who ignore the tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days – and another for £120 for a second offence. But fines could reach £1,000-plus for repeat offenders.

Two-metre social distancing rule may need to be FOUR TIMES bigger 

The two-metre social distancing rule being used to keep people apart may need to be four times bigger to halt the spread of the coronavirus, MIT says.

A new report by the renowned US university has found that viral droplets expelled in coughs and sneezes can travel at speeds of 33ft to 100ft per second.

This creates a cloud that can span up to 27ft.

Across the UK, supermarkets have stuck lines of tape to their floors to ensure shoppers are adequately separated.

But guidelines issued by the Cabinet Office do not prohibit driving somewhere for exercise or dog walking. 

Derbyshire Police is now embroiled in a heated row after tweeting ‘menacing’ drone footage chasing and ‘shaming’ ramblers and dog walkers in the Peak District. 

Neath Port Talbot council has also begun using drones equipped with speakers to shout at groups of people outside – though some targeted claim they had been ‘waiting hours for prescriptions before they were ordered to go home.’

But members of the public have hit back at the extraordinary move, claiming they are being targeted while queuing outside for hours waiting for groceries and medication. 

Critics say the unprecedented powers handed to officers by ministers will see the country ‘sliding into dystopia.’ 

As the row intensified, Leading QC Matthew Ryder said there was an ‘overwhelming consensus from lawyers that police trying to restrict people to ’emergency travel only’ is unlawful.’ 

Former MPs also claim police are ‘showing an astounding lack of judgement’ and needed to exercise ‘common sense and respect’ and use their powers elsewhere. 

But chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Martin Hewitt, doubled down on the measures, telling the BBC: ‘This is a national emergency, not a national holiday.’

Joggers run to take their exercise in Battersea Park in London on March 28, 2020, as life continues in Britain during the novel coronavirus pandemic

An NHS worker being tested for coronavirus at a temporary testing station in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures in Chessington, Greater London

A member of the public wears a protective face mask whilst shopping at a marketplace in Grantham, Lincolnshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

A family sit on the beach in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

Police talk to people in the town centre gardens today in Bournemouth, United Kingdom

A man wears a mask during a walk as Sussex Police patrol the promenade in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

As the row intensified today, Leading QC Matthew Ryder said there was an ‘overwhelming consensus from lawyers that police trying to restrict people to ’emergency travel only’ is unlawful’

In another frantic day of developments in the battle against coronavirus:

  • Michael Gove revealed a new alliance between businesses, research institutes and universities will boost testing capacity so NHS workers will know if they have coronavirus with testing starting next week;
  • NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said there are now 33,000 beds available nationwide for coronavirus patients 
  • He also revealed two new Nightingale hospitals will be set up in Birmingham and Manchester in addition to the one in London; 
  •  A council is facing a furious backlash after targeting members of the public with drones, as lawyers warned that police are ‘unlawfully’ trying to restrict people travelling to isolated spots to exercise and walk their dogs;
  • There are demands for the government to go further to help millions of self-employed after Mr Sunak admitted a bailout for income support will not be up and running until June; 
  • Buckingham Palace has said the Queen remains in ‘good health’ and has not seen the PM since March 11; 
  • UK supermarkets said they will use a government database of 1.5 million vulnerable shoppers to help prioritise delivery slots.

Brussels slapdown for UK in ventilators row 

Brussels slapped down Downing Street yesterday for claiming Britain did not join an EU scheme to supply more ventilators because of an email ‘mix-up’. 

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Thursday that the UK had not taken part in the joint project because of an ‘initial communication problem’. 

But yesterday Brussels rubbished that claim, saying British officials had sat in on key meetings to discuss the plans.

 Mr Johnson is under pressure over the UK’s ventilator shortage after it emerged that thousands of machines the Government ordered may not arrive until after the peak of the coronavirus epidemic. 

The Government was criticised when it emerged that the UK was not taking part in the EU scheme to boost the number of ventilators available to doctors. 

It said: ‘Owing to an initial communication problem, the UK did not receive an invitation in time to join in four joint procurements.’ 

But a European Commission spokesman said equipment needs ‘have been discussed several times in the meetings of the Health Security Committee, 

Among those responding to Derbyshire Police’s drone footage was ex-Lord Chancellor, David Gauke. 

The former Work and Pensions Secretary and Justice Secretary said: ‘This is badly misjudged. People should maintain social distancing, which is what these people are doing. We need to maintain public support for fundamental behaviour change which requires the authorities to focus on genuinely bad behaviour.’

Derbyshire Police took the extraordinary step of using one of its drones to film dog walkers, ramblers and a group posing for Instagram pictures on a cliff top at sunset last night – highlighting their movements and accusing them of making an ‘unessential’ trip. 

Using the unmanned aircraft they also gathered number plates from parked cars and traced their owners to their homes in Sheffield saying: ‘Walking your dog in the Peak District: Not essential.’ 

Appearing on BBC Breakfast yeasterday, Superintendent Steve Pont from Derbyshire Police hit back at allegations he was ‘shaming’ dog walkers, claiming people were ‘looking for excuses and loopholes as to why they don’t need to stay at home when everyone else does.’ 

Supt Pont said his force was, ‘here to apply the law the government makes.’ 

 

Staff load equipment into London Ambulance Service vehicles in the east car park at the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London on March 28, 2020, that is being transformed into a field hospital to be known as the NHS Nightingale Hospital

Medical staff wheel a model of a fake patient on a trolley into the ExCeL London exhibition centre in London

People observing the two metre rule while shopping in London today amid the coronavirus outbreak

Shoppers ensure they stand two metres apart while getting their groceries in London this morning

Police will now ARREST anyone who flouts the travel ban

People who continue to flout coronavirus lockdown rules will be breaking the law and could be arrested by police.

Those who ignore tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially and another for £120 for a second offence, the Home Office warned.

Officers will have the power to enforce rules on staying at home and avoiding non-essential travel from Thursday.

They can order members of the public to go home, leave an area and have the power to disperse a group.

Police can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.

According to the guidance, the cost of initial fixed penalty notices will be cut to £30 if paid within 14 days and those who do not pay could be taken to court and risk facing costs for unlimited fines.

The Home Office said: ‘If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.

‘However, in the first instance, the police will always apply their common sense and discretion.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘The Prime Minister has been clear on what we need to do: stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives.

‘All our frontline services really are the best of us and are doing an incredible job to stop this terrible virus from spreading.

‘That’s why I’m giving the police these new enforcement powers, to protect the public and keep people safe.’

 

Boris Johnson has stressed that unless you are a key worker or helping someone vulnerable, the only reasons to go outside are to go shopping for essentials, exercise once a day or fulfil any medical needs. 

Those flouting the rules face fines of up to £960, and police can now arrest anyone found outside without good reason. 

In addition, the Director of Public Prosecutions warned that anyone deliberately coughing at 999 workers to spread coronavirus faces up to two years in jail. 

But barrister Matthew Ryder argued: ‘Seems to be overwhelming consensus from lawyers that police trying to restrict people to ’emergency travel only’ is unlawful.

‘They have no power to stop someone driving to an isolated scenic spot to exercise away from others (nor is there any logical reason why there should be).

‘If you live in a densely packed city like London, the local park now feels like a crowded gym much of the day: people exercising, walking dogs, letting kids run about. 

‘Stopping people going out to isolated spots for exercise in order to ease that crowding is counterproductive.’

Former West Midlands MEP Roger Helmer tweeted: ‘For heaven’s sake, Derbyshire police, get a sense of proportion. These people were taking exercise (permitted) and maintaining social separation (mandated). There are much more important matters which you should be pursuing.’ 

Supt Pont told the BBC: ‘We’ve received the legislation which is easy for people to understand. If people continue to flout this then we will resort to giving out fines.

‘We wanted to reinforce the message of, ‘stay home’ because a number of people aren’t staying home; they’re finding excuses and loopholes to go out. 

‘We wanted to illustrate that this is the wrong thing to do – last weekend the Peak District was overflowing with tourists.’ 

But presenter Charlie Stayt argued there was little chance of infecting other people if people travel in their own car to a remote location and walk away from other people, exercising their rights in a safe manner. 

He added: ‘It’s not really up to you to stop them.’ 

Supt Pont added: ‘If people drive in their cars and go walking along the clifftops, there’s a potential for accidents. Mountain rescue have said they don’t want people doing it. 

‘If the NHS are responding to a road traffic collisions, that is taking up their time. 

People stand two meters apart as they social distance themselves from one another whilst queing to shop for essentials at a Tesco Supermarket in Stoke-on-Trent, central England today


A man wears a welding suit and mask to do shopping in Tesco Extra this morning in Stockton, Teesside (left and right)

Police Scotland were using their own helicopter to catch people and issue fines in Pollok Park, Glasgow yesterday

‘The point is, government legislation says you should make your time away from home as short as possible. 

‘It is not as short as possible if you feel like going for a drive in the Peak District.’ 

He added: ‘We are hoping to appeal to the better judgement of these people. 

‘The NHS are heroes – they are asking, begging us, to stay at home. And 93-4 per cent of the public are doing that but some people are trying to find excuses not to.’

The apparent need for the new police powers to break up gatherings has been illustrated by reports of officers being called to friends having barbecues, house parties and games of football. 

Neath Port Talbot council and South Wales Police are also using drones equipped with speakers to disperse groups of people congregating outside. 

The council has teamed up with South Wales Police to identify popular hotspots. 

The council says it hopes the use of drones, ‘will help to remind people not following the rules about what their responsibilities are.’

A spokesman from Neath Port Talbot council said: ‘Drones are now being used to distribute public information messages across Neath Port Talbot during the coronavirus outbreak.

‘We have teamed up with South Wales Police to survey hotspots where people are not following government measures on social distancing.’ 

‘You’re killing people!’: Moment police officer shouts at man walking down the street while claiming to have coronavirus 

This is the moment a furious police officer is seen shouting at a man claiming to have the deadly coronavirus to ‘go home’ more than a dozen times as he warns him ‘you are killing people’.

Footage has emerged of the bike-riding officer warning the man, standing in a street in Perth, Scotland, that he will be arrested if he does not self-isolate.

It comes as legislation was approved allowing police to fine those who disobey the UK government’s lockdown rules following the outbreak of the virus, which has killed more than 570 people in the UK so far.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the powers could be introduced in Scotland as early as today.

The footage begins with four police officers on bikes in a seemingly deserted Perth High Street. Shouting can then be heard as one of the officers makes his way over to a lone male in a blue top and grey trousers.

As the man approaches the officer he is warned ‘stay back’. The officer continues to hold his hand out, trying to keep a distance between himself and the man.

A comment is made, prompting the officer to ask: ‘So you’ve got Covid-19?’

The man appears to nod his head, prompting the officer to reply: ‘If that’s the case, you need to go home and self-isolate.’

He adds: ‘If I see you once more, you are going to jail.’

With the man seemingly not listening to the request, the officer becomes increasingly frustrated, shouting ‘go home’ more than a dozen times in less than a minute.

At one point the officer says: ‘Are you telling me you’ve got it? Well go home and self-isolate. You are killing people, go home.’

As the video comes to an end, the man is seen leaving the area.

NEW POLICE POWERS: WHEN DID THEY COME INTO FORCE AND WHAT DO THEY MEAN?

Police officers now have powers to enforce staying at home and avoiding non-essential travel, as of 1pm on Thursday.

As a result, people who continue to flout coronavirus lockdown rules will be breaking the law and could be arrested or fined. Officers can use ‘reasonable force, if necessary’.

What is the law called and where is it in force?

Known as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, they are currently in force in England.

The regulations are expected to be introduced in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales by the end of Thursday.

What are the main points of the rules?

Police can order members of the public to go home, leave an area, have the power to disperse a group, using ‘reasonable force, if necessary’ and can make arrests if someone refuses to comply.

Those who ignore the tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days – and another for £120 for a second offence.

Those who do not pay could be taken to court and risk facing costs for unlimited fines.

Refusing to provide a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence.

Officers can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.

Why have the rules been enacted?

The Government says it is to protect the public and keep people safe.

The regulations state they are made ‘in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health’ posed by Covid-19 and the Government considers the ‘restrictions and requirements imposed by these regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve’.

But human rights campaigners have raised concerns about the restrictions posed by the powers.

How long will they be in force?

The regulations are classed as emergency laws.

They must be reviewed at least once every 21 days, starting on April 16.

Why can I leave my house and how often?

Reasons for why someone may leave their house as well as to get food and medical supplies for you, your household or vulnerable people, are to get money and to exercise.

A reasonable excuse also includes: to give blood, attend a funeral, meet bail conditions, go to court and take part in legal proceedings, to move house and to ‘avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm’.

The rules do not appear to limit how many times per day someone can leave their house.

What else do the rules say?

The rules define who is considered a vulnerable person under the law as someone who is aged 70 or older, anyone aged under 70 who has an underlying health condition and anyone who is pregnant.

Underlying health conditions include: chronic long-term respiratory diseases like asthma, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, hepatitis, Parkinson’s, diabetes, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy, HIV, Aids, cancer, and obesity.

It also lists in detail the businesses and buildings which can stay open – like supermarkets, hardware stores and post offices – and must close – such as pubs, restaurants and theatres – during the crisis.

 

The council added: ‘The drones are equipped with speakers that will transmit messages directly to the public.

‘We are reminding residents to stay at home except for (reasons outlined by the Government).’

But while some praised the measures, others claimed they were unnecessary.

Writing on Facebook, Carly Murray said: ‘This upset a lot of people today at Neath boots. 

‘People were waiting for prescriptions and people were very orderly and staying two metres apart. This drone turned up and changed the mood.

‘As people were perplexed where it’s had come from and what they could do as they were waiting for Boots. 

‘People were annoyed to be told to go home when they were already stressed and fed up waiting hours for medications.’ 

The head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Max Hill QC, warned that offenders coughing and spitting at key workers would be charged with common assault, punishable by up to two years in prison. 

His intervention came after Darren Rafferty, 45, from Dagenham, east London, admitted three counts of assaulting an emergency worker after claiming to have coronavirus and deliberately coughing at officers arresting him for grievous bodily harm. 

David Mott, 40, from Blackburn, was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison after threatening to spit at officers when they asked him why he was outdoors with two others on Monday night.  

In response to new police powers being brought into force to make sure coronavirus lockdown restrictions are followed, Clare Collier, advocacy director at Liberty, said: ‘We’re extremely concerned by the extent of these coercive powers.

‘This is a pandemic and so it should be treated as a public health issue. Instead, the Government is treating it as a criminal justice issue, putting resources into detaining and criminalising.

‘What’s concerning is what this heavy-handed approach will do to the public’s relationship with the police in the long-term.

‘While some people will feel reassured by a firmer police response to the pandemic, others will feel fear, especially groups who are already over-policed.

‘We’ve seen an amazing response from communities to the pandemic, with neighourhoods rallying together, but trust and goodwill may break down in the face of authoritarianism and harsh policing.’ 

Police forces this week have reported a surge of mindless violence by bored yobs. 

In Merseyside, a hospital worker was attacked with a bike saddle by a group of teenagers as he went to buy groceries. 

The radiographer at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral needed seven stitches after he was targeted by four youths outside an Asda supermarket in Birkenhead.

Elsewhere in Merseyside, a group of children became involved in a standoff with police after climbing onto a leisure centre roof for an hour and refusing to come down.

Derbyshire Police revealed they were investigating a vicious assault on a farmer who was punched 15 times and kicked in the ribs when he asked a Peak District walker to ‘go home’. 

The victim, from Edale, was ‘left shaken and bruised’ after he was assaulted while disinfecting his gates on Sunday due to hundreds of people walking past.  

New powers were announced on Thursday to allow police to enforce lockdown rules brought in to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Home Office said people who continue to flout tougher restrictions on movement will be breaking the law and could be arrested by police.

Those who ignore the rules could be hit with a £60 fine initially and another for £120 for a second offence, with the penalty doubling for additional breaches.

Officers in England were given the power to enforce rules on staying at home and avoiding non-essential travel as of 1pm on Thursday.

They can order members of the public to go home, leave an area, and have the power to disperse a group, using ‘reasonable force, if necessary’.

Police can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the powers were designed to ‘protect the public and keep people safe’.

According to the guidance, the cost of initial fixed penalty notices will be cut to £30 if paid within 14 days and those who do not pay could be taken to court and risk facing costs for unlimited fines.

Refusing to provide a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence. 

Known as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, similar rules will be in place across Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The regulations state they are made ‘in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health’ posed by Covid-19 and the Government considers the ‘restrictions and requirements imposed by these regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve’.

Poll finds 11% of Britons are still going to crowded public spaces and 10% are visiting friends 

A survey for ITV’s Peston programme found millions of people are not complying with the government’s lockdown measures

A shock poll conducted for ITV’s Peston this week found 7 per cent of Britons are still going out to see friends, 8 per cent are doing ‘non-essential shopping’ and 5 percent have not started washing their hands more.

The survey also showed 6 per cent are continuing to hug others and shake hands, despite warnings this will spread the deadly virus which has already claimed 463 lives in Britain with 9,500 people now having tested positive.

Some 11 per cent of people are still going to public places while 33 per cent are stockpiling and ignoring pleas from supermarkets to save goods for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers.

A further 8 per cent (5.8 million) are continuing to shop for goods when not absolutely necessary and 7 per cent are meeting people outside of the immediate family they are living with, according to the JL Partners survey.

It also revealed that some 5 per cent of people – or 2.6million of the population – are still not washing their hands more than usual, or for longer than usual.

Some 34 per cent of people still going shopping and seeing friends claim they are doing it ‘safely’, while 14 per cent claim the risk of coronavirus is being ‘exaggerated’ and 7 per cent refuse to abandon their daily habits because the Government ‘hasn’t ruled it out’.

Those refusing to comply by the Government advice are generally young males while 15 per cent steadfastly say ‘we can’t let the virus defeat us’. 

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