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Plea for West Norfolk people to follow coronavirus lockdown rules

Senior councillors and police officers have pleaded for the public in West Norfolk to abide by the new coronavirus lockdown rules.

A fresh stay at home order was issued by the government on Monday evening and overwhelmingly backed by MPs on Wednesday.

It means that residents must remain in their homes unless they have a reasonable excuse, such as going to work, shopping for essential items, exercising once a day, fleeing from domestic abuse or visiting a support bubble as a single person.

King's Lynn town centre in lockdown. Picture: Ian Burt. (43869441)
King's Lynn town centre in lockdown. Picture: Ian Burt. (43869441)

Stuart Dark, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for public protection, said the new measures were necessary despite the impact they will have on people and businesses.

He said: “Locally we have been seeing a rapid increase in the number of cases, and while still well below the national figure, it is a worrying trend and it is taking its toll on our local NHS services.

“The advice with the new, more transmissible variant of the virus is to act like you have got it. That means really thinking about who you might be putting at risk before you leave the house for an unnecessary trip or get too close to someone in the supermarket. By acting like you have the virus, and keeping your distance, you could literally be saving lives.

“We understand how hard it is for everyone which is why we along with other partners can provide help and support for people who need assistance with food supplies, getting medicines or who are struggling to isolate because of financial pressures.

“It is really important that you get in touch, rather than risking your own health or the health of others. We will get through this, and as the vaccine programme rolls out, we hope we will start to see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Meanwhile, Norfolk Police chief constable Simon Bailey said his organisation was facing its biggest challenge since the start of the pandemic because of rising sickness and isolation levels in its ranks.

He said there were detailed plans in place to withstand the shortages and pledged that officers would be visible and take action where necessary against those who break the rules.

He added: “People know the risks, they know the rules and what is expected of them.

“Those who blatantly ignore the rules should expect to receive a fine and we will target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour.”

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