Wiltshire Police has today warned that mass gatherings are a “flagrant breach” of the coronavirus lockdown regulations in place to save lives.
As first reported by Wiltshire 999s yesterday, two illegal public gatherings have been arranged for Swindon this weekend at Coate Water Country Park and Lawn Woods.
The two advertised mass gatherings are due to take place at 12pm on Saturday 16 May, with dozens of other similar events being promoted across the country.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “We recognise that, from today, the Government guidance is changing and people will have slightly more freedom to enjoy outdoor space but we must all do this sensibly and continue to follow the social distancing rules.
“Calling for a mass gathering is a flagrant breach of the regulations and the guidance on social distancing and is wholly irresponsible.
“The number of people who have sadly lost their lives to Coronavirus should be sobering for us all.
“There will be people who want to enjoy some of our outdoor spaces this weekend and, under the new guidance, they are able to do this with people they live with or one other person from a different household and should adhere to social distancing. A mass gathering event could potentially cause risk and harm to other people who are using these spaces as laid out in the guidance.
“Ultimately, if these events do happen, they will cause an unnecessary strain on all emergency services and the NHS.
“We continue to review and consider all the intelligence we receive and this will help inform our patrol plans for the coming days.
“The Prime Minister has been clear that these changes will be kept under close review, and are dependent on the number of cases continuing to decline, so irresponsible or unsafe behaviour now could lead to further restrictions being put back into place.
“There are more freedoms being afforded to us today thanks to the collective hard work of the nation – let us enjoy those sensibly and responsibly.”
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