CONCERNED readers have been sending us pictures of people who appear to be flouting the new rule of six. We asked police how they plan to enforce the new law.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “The new restrictions outlined in law by the Government, are designed to limit the spread of the infection, save lives and hopefully prevent the need for further and more significant regulations in the future.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic West Mercia Police has engaged with communities, keeping enforcement action to a minimum wherever possible, and the majority of people have behaved sensibly and responsibly.

“However, increasing infection rates demonstrate that there are people who are choosing to break the law and they are putting people at risk as a direct result of their actions. Therefore, I want to make clear that anyone who chooses to ignore the regulations and restrictions can expect strict enforcement from West Mercia Police and to be given a fine.

“The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence. Fines can reach up to £10,000 for both businesses that breach regulations or those who organise illegal social gatherings.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners and local businesses to implement the new restrictions, and there will be a visible and strong police presence to help enforce the regulations where appropriate, and provide reassurance to the public - particularly in areas of rising concern.

“Please work with us, your local authorities, neighbours and wider communities over the coming months."