A NORTH-EAST police force has warned it will move "straight to enforcement action" against those who flout the rules with indoor gatherings as "Stay Local" rules come in.

Cleveland Police has said its priority will now be to deal with reports of large indoor gatherings or parties, while urging people to follow restrictions when outdoors.

Certain restrictions on who people could meet were lifted on Monday as the rule-of-six returned, meaning up to six individuals, or two households, can now meet outside.

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The rules, which apply to the whole of England, mean people can now mix in any outdoor space, including in private gardens - but mixing indoors remained banned. 

But as measures were eased, Superintendent Emily Harrison of Cleveland Polive warned the force's stance on rule-breaking had not changed.

She said: "Today, people will see the rules change so that we move tentatively back to life as it was before.

"Communities have pulled together over the past few months to take responsibility and do what we need to protect the NHS by staying home and I thank them for their support.

"As the stay at home message has changed to stay local, we ask people to keep to the rules by not having gatherings indoors or meeting more people than they should outdoors.

"Our stance hasn’t changed, we will continue to engage, explain, and encourage people to follow the rules before taking enforcement action.

"That said, our priority will be to respond and deal with reports of large indoor gatherings or parties, and for these cases, it is clear that we need to move straight to enforcement action."

Spt Harrison issued the warning as she urged people across the region not to give up on following restrictions currently in place.

She said: "We mustn’t give up now, we have the vaccine, the weather is changing, and we have a route to get back to normal life.

"That path is dependent on everyone sticking to the rules at each step of the way. We have come this far, my ask is that people do not give up yet."