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Changes in Government guidance

14 May 2020

As you will be aware, since Wednesday 13 May, some of the COVID-19 restrictions have changed slightly. While lockdown measures have not been lifted, some of the original restrictions have changed.

We are still advised to social distance and to stay at home where possible. This is to keep ourselves, our friends, our family and our loved ones safe, as well as to help protect our NHS and save lives. The appropriate reasons for leaving your household are still:
• for work, where you cannot work from home
• going to shops that are permitted to be open - to get things like food and medicine
• to exercise or spend time outdoors
• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

In addition, you can now:
• spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing
• meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines by keeping a minimum of 2 metres apart at all times
• exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines by keeping a minimum of 2 metres apart from anyone who doesn’t live in your household
• use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart
• go to a garden centre.

Assistant Chief Constable Nathan Briant, who is leading Hertfordshire Constabulary’s response to COVID-19, said: “I appreciate how well the public have responded to the extraordinary restrictions placed on them as part of the national effort to save lives. The vast majority of people have followed the regulations, making personal sacrifices to do so. Thank you to all of you.

“I would also like to remind everyone that we are still here, and our officers are working incredibly hard – not only to make sure that the Government’s lockdown instructions are being followed, but also to continue to offer a full range of policing services in these challenging circumstances. Across the county, our policing teams are continuing their standard patrols, responding to incidents, problem-solving with communities and looking out for vulnerable residents.

“Our policing style in response to COVID-19 has not changed: our officers will always use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable. In the first instance, we will engage, explain, and encourage – we will only enforce as a last resort. Thanks to our officers engaging with the public in this way, we have rarely had to enforce the Government regulations.

“Once again, thank you for all of the personal sacrifices you have made over the past seven weeks to help keep our county safe. We have all worked so hard already, and sacrificed so much over these last seven weeks of lockdown, and I know no-one will want to jeopardise the progress we’ve made, by failing to comply with the ongoing restrictions.  Every new day is one step closer to a new kind of normal. While restrictions are not ready to be lifted completely, it appears that we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel and things are slowly but surely improving.

“By staying at home where possible, social distancing and following the Government regulations, you are doing your bit to help protect our NHS, save lives, and stop the spread of COVID-19. We are confident that the vast majority of people will continue to do their bit and follow the guidance in this next stage of lockdown.”

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