People are being reminded to check the details of the current restrictions as new relaxations of the Covid-19 rules come into place today.

The latest step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown comes into force from today (29/03).

This means that you can now meet outdoors (including in private gardens) in either a group of up to six people or a group comprising of two households.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, are also allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally-organised outdoor sports.

The “stay at home” rule has now ended, but the guidance states that people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.

The latest figures show that between 22/03 and 28/03 Wiltshire Police:

• Issued 26 fixed penalty notices. This brings the overall total to 844 (this will include FPNs issued retrospectively).
• Issued 23 formal warnings to people for failing to adhere to the Government rules.
• Recorded 105 reports from members of the public, either via the phone or using our online reporting tool.
• Recorded two Covid-related crimes and 12 Covid-related incidents.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: "Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to our communities across Swindon and Wiltshire for the sacrifices they have made during this third national lockdown to help keep us all safe.

"We know the past three months have been very difficult for so many people, but the vast majority of our communities have played their part, sticking to the rules and limiting social contact with others. This has paid off and we have seen a significant reduction in the virus rates.

"From today, people can now meet outdoors (including in private gardens) in either a group of up to six people or a group comprising of two households. This is a really welcomed step, as part of the Government's roadmap and I know will be welcomed by all within our communities.

"We will continue with our proactive patrols and encourage everyone to make themselves aware of what is and is not permitted.

"Our policing approach will continue to focus on where there are blatant breaches of the regulations, with a specific focus on gatherings that exceed the permitted numbers or within a premises, and intelligence that indicates people are staying away from home. These are expressively prohibited under the ongoing restrictions and we know these types of events also pose the greatest risk to public health.

"The new Government guidance is that people should try to minimise “domestic travel”, so although the “stay at home” message is no longer in place, the advice is that people should remain cautious and sensible."

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: "The Government has been clear that while today is a significant milestone in our journey out of lockdown we all need to proceed with caution.

"Please don’t be tempted to push against the restrictions and, although you can now meet up with family and friends, make sure you do so safely.

"Only meet outdoors and continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance to ensure we continue to keep Covid-19 under control."

To read the updated Government guidance and restrictions please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus