POLICE officers will be on hand to explain the new rules surrounding coronavirus to our communities across County Durham and Darlington when they come into effect this week.

From today people will be able to gather in groups of no more than six, whether indoors or outdoors, other than a handful of exceptions.

Throughout the pandemic, Durham Constabulary has worked with residents to engage, explain and encourage people to do the right thing to keep themselves and their neighbours safe.

Enforcement action, including dispersal orders and fixed penalty notices, will only be taken to resolve the situation with those who refuse to comply.

Superintendent Steve Long of Durham Constabulary said: “Coronavirus is still a deadly threat and, as we start to see the number of cases rise again, the Government has made it clear that further restrictions are necessary to keep people safe.

“Therefore we should all follow the regulations in place to prevent the spread of the virus, including those which limit gatherings to six people.

“We would like to thank the vast majority of people in County Durham and Darlington who have taken personal responsibility, done the right thing and stuck to the guidance throughout the pandemic.

“Officers will continue to be out in our communities over the coming weeks, encouraging people to act responsibly but, when necessary, we will take enforcement action.”