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 Police and councils say “thank you” for following Covid-19 rules and guidance


​Police and council officials are saying “thank you” to the people of County Durham and Darlington for their support in following the latest rules and guidance to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Last month, the Government introduced a curfew for all pubs, bars and restaurants, meaning they must shut either before or at 10pm.

Following the announcement, officers have been carrying out extra patrols on a weekend, in partnership with Darlington Borough Council and Durham County Council’s licensing teams.

During these patrols, officers check on licensed premises and takeaways to ensure that business owners and customers are aware of the rules and that they are following them correctly.

Chief Inspector Neal Bickford, from Durham Constabulary, said: “While on patrol, we have been really encouraged to see the vast majority of people are following the rules – that includes both customers and business owners and staff.

“Businesses are really taking their customers’ safety seriously and are ensuring people are following social distancing rules when on their premises. The 10pm closing time is also being adhered to.

“We’d like to say thank you to our local business owners for all their support in what is understandably a very difficult time for them.

“We’d also like to say thank you the members of the public who are all continuing to follow the rules and guidance to try and halt the spread of Covid-19.”

Councillor Kevin Nicholson, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Health and Housing, said: “It’s been really encouraging to see the way businesses and the public have responded to the 10pm curfew in recent weeks. Clearly the 10pm closure is just one part of the picture when it comes to tackling Covid-19 and we know these are tough times for everyone.

“But the way people have been sticking to the curfew has played a big part in helping to keep Darlington on the right track.”

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection services, said: “These measures have been introduced following a significant rise in coronavirus cases in the region and although they are challenging, it is vital that we follow these rules to help keep each other safe.

“We have a team of community protection officers out and about across the county on an evening and weekends to reassure members of the public and support businesses in staying open. It has been pleasing to see the vast majority of businesses are supportive of the extra measures and doing all they can to protect their staff and customers. However, where it is necessary, we will take action against any premises which are failing to comply and putting the safety of others at risk. It is only by following the rules and working together that we will reduce the further spread of the virus and save lives.”