Liverpool's new social distancing rules may not be as strict as those brought in at the start of the pandemic but that doesn't mean they won't be enforced.

Merseyside Police and local government have made it clear that the authorities won't hesitate to punish people who break the new rules, designed to prevent a second pandemic on Merseyside.

Yesterday the government announced a raft of new measures that will be brought in for the region - including a ban on households mixing and new closing times for pubs and restaurants.

The new regulations begin from Tuesday and will apply across Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton, Halton and Warrington.

And this is how police plan to make sure people respect the new rules.

Police on the streets

The force is set to have increased presence out in the city to make sure the public follow the new rules. For many people, this could just mean a conversation.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said: “These restrictions do not represent a lockdown, but if we do not adhere to them we could see more severe restrictions brought in in future, which none of us want to see.

“As they have been since the start of the pandemic, our officers will be out engaging with the public, encouraging people to adhere to the new restrictions, explaining why it is so important and where necessary we will take enforcement action."

Fines of up to £3,200

The senior police officer also made it clear that the force will not hesitate in enforcing the new rules with £100 on the spot fines.

These fines can progress to a maximum of £3,200 if the £100 penalty is not paid.

Assistant Chief Constable Carden said: "If you do not follow the instructions of officers, you risk being given a £100 fine, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200 if it is not paid."

Peer pressure

As the restrictions affect people's private homes, it may be hard for police to detect breaches of the new restrictions. So it's not surprising that local leaders are urging people to think about the bigger picture before they consider trying to swerve the rules.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Since Merseyside was identified last week as an ‘area of concern’, there has been a growing expectation that increased restrictions would be put in place for our region.

“We now know that these new restrictions will come in to force from Tuesday next week.

“With Covid-19 cases still increasing rapidly, we must do everything we can to curb rising infection rates and protect our families, communities and businesses. That means that these increased restrictions are now a regrettable but necessary step.

“I know that this will be difficult for us all, but we simply cannot afford to see the progress we have made over the last few months de-railed and for our communities and businesses to suffer more than they already have.

“Please be absolutely clear: We are already seeing hospital admissions increase, putting pressure on our NHS and we can’t allow this to reach the crisis levels we saw during national lockdown.

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“We must all stop, think and do the right thing, or we will risk seeing infection rates spiral out of control, more tragic and avoidable deaths and a more drastic and damaging lockdown across our region.

“There is still time for us to stop this from happening.

“Our city region is renowned for being kind, friendly and community-spirited. We now need to stick to those principles, respect these new restrictions and make sure that we look out for one another.”