Despicable teenagers were coughing at NHS workers and claiming they have the coronavirus.

Police described the incident as 'abhorrent' and warned that they would prosecute those responsible and their parental guardians.

NHS staff across the country have been put under immense pressure over recent weeks as the Coronavirus pandemic has swept across the UK.

Last night police in Warrington posted a message on social media.

It read: "We have attended reports of a group of youths coughing at NHS staff stating they have coronavirus.

"The youths will be prosecuted as will their parental guardians.

"This is an absolutely abhorrent incident involving abuse of our NHS heroes.

"I will once again urge all parents and persons with parental responsibility to make sure their children stay inside you to can and will be prosecuted if you fail to keep your children inside. "

A total of 759 people have died in UK hospitals after being diagnosed with coronavirus, while 14,579 have tested positive and hundreds of thousands more are thought to be infected.

Frontline NHS workers have called for deliveries of personal protective equipment and for clearer guidance on when to use it to reduce the risk of them contracting the virus.

A message has been issued to parents and children who continue to ignore the UK's coronavirus lockadown.

The warning comes after groups of children were spotted hanging around a local park together while the continue battles to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

Two different police forces again had to remind people on Thursday that they should only leave their homes if absolutely necessary.

Cheshire Police also had to publicly tell parents that their children risk catching the virus and getting a criminal record if they continue to gather.

A spokesperson for the force said: "Parents, where were your children this evening?

"We were called to Stanneyfields Park, Neston at 7pm as there were a group of 10 youths standing together!

"Not only do they risk getting a criminal record but they might catch and spread the Covid19 virus. Keep them in!"

Merseyside Police officers in Wirral also reissued their appeal to the public after spending the day reminding people about social distancing.

On their Facebook page, officers said: "Your local Officers as part of Operation Clear are continuing to patrol the area around Birkenhead into the evening.

"Throughout the day, the Officers have advised many people with regards to social distancing as per the instructions issued by Government to prevent the spread of Covid19.

"The Officers have concentrated on open areas today which have attracted greater numbers of people due to the warmer weather.

"To protect yourself and other people, please respect the social distancing advice issued."

New powers brought in on Thursday mean that police can now take firmer action against those continuing to flout the laws aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

And parents could be issued with punishments if they are found to be failing to keep their children at home.

The new powers come into force today and give the police a range of options to use against people who are failing to stay at home and venturing out unnecessarily.

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If members of the public do not comply, police will be able to:

And if an individual refuses to comply, police may be forced to arrest them, reports Sky News.

However, the Home Office said officers "will always apply their common sense and discretion" in the first instance.