We are all preparing for a different New Year’s Eve tonight as Staffordshire is now in the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions set out by government.
Tier Four restrictions mean that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you live unless you have a reasonable excuse.
You cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble.
When outside, you can only meet one person from another household.
Superintendent Thomas Chisholm, head of neighbourhood policing for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, said: “As a police force, we recognise that the last ten months have been very challenging for people and will continue to be so, as we work together to stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect each other.
“I would like to thank the communities across our county for following the rules and adhering to these stricter guidelines as we look to welcome in the New Year this evening.
“As the government says, current data shows COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high. It’s more important than ever for us to stay home and celebrate with members of our own household or support bubble.
“Officers will be out and about tonight to continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules and remind them of their responsibility to protect each other from this virus.
“Our experience so far is the vast majority of people have made personal sacrifices to follow the restrictions and taken personal responsibility for doing the right thing – we are hugely grateful for that and we expect it to continue.
“To the minority who put others at risk and mistakenly believe the restrictions do not apply to them, we will not hesitate to issue fines for breaching of the rules put in place to keep everyone safe as we head in 2021.
“I understand this has been a difficult year for all of us, but your adherence to the regulations throughout this pandemic has been essential in helping to protect the people of Staffordshire from this devastating virus.
“Finally, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you all for your ongoing support and co-operation during such a challenging time.”
To find out more about what the new rules mean for our area, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home.