Policing of the third lockdown is to be stepped up, with senior officers warning of more fines and less tolerance of any breaches.
Police chiefs said officers would move more quickly to fine offenders under the new tough rules and would no longer accept ignorance as an excuse.
They also anticipate an increase in the number of breaches amid a growing sense of public fatigue and frustration among the public over the extension of bans on household mixing, shopping and most outdoor contacts and sports.
Police said they would continue with a hardline New Year-style approach to flagrant breaches and serial offenders that saw the Metropolitan Police alone break up 58 unlicensed music events on New Year’s Eve, fining 222 people including five for a possible £10,000 each.
– Vaccine programme was ‘Herculean’ effort
Covid vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi said the vaccine programme was a ‘Herculean’ effort.
“The NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have got a very clear, delivery plan,” he told Sky News.
“The plan is, as we launched initially with Pfizer, a novel vaccine in hospital hubs, then into what are called Primary Care Networks – so a network of five or six GPS coming together – that has grown massively. We then go to national vaccination hubs that the NHS have got planned. And of course the community pharmacies and the independent pharmacy sector as well.
“They have delivered over 1.3 million doses already – a quarter of those, so one in four 80-year-olds have already had the first vaccination, and in a couple of weeks time, that those 25% of 80-year-olds will be protected, and of course will then get their second job as well, so it is a Herculean effort.”