Continue social distancing over VE Day bank holiday weekend Image: iStock

Take part in initiatives that allow people to mark VE Day in a safe way

Bedfordshire residents are being urged to continue practicing social distancing for the duration of the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, which will also see the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

A number of initiatives are taking place across the country to allow people to mark this special occasion in a safe way which conforms to government COVID-19 regulations. Such as attending virtual events online, holding celebrations with those in your household, and supporting via social media.

Throughout the weekend, Bedfordshire Police will continue to hold dedicated patrols to educate, explain and encourage the public to adopt the guidance. Officers have the option to enforce the guidance by way of a fixed penalty notice if the advice is not followed.

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, said:

“I know just how frustrating it will be for veterans and their families and those communities who had hoped to hold street parties this weekend that the lockdown means these cannot now take place.

“We’ve just passed a terrible milestone of 30,000 deaths from coronavirus and I don’t believe any of us fails to understand that, if we don’t keep two metres apart and avoid people outside our own households right now, more lives will be lost needlessly.

“It’s a bitter irony that this weekend’s celebrations – that were designed to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Second World War – would have led to more lives being lost.”

Usual policing will also continue and officers will be still dispatched to deal with incidents of highest threat and risk. Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said:

“I would urge people to keep going in what we know are difficult times, and continue to observe the government’s latest coronavirus regulations in order to keep themselves, and others, safe.

“We do have the power to fine those who flout the rules and will be harder on those repeat offenders.

“That said, by and large we have been encouraged by the actions of most Bedfordshire residents in keeping safe. I thank you for helping to save lives and protect the NHS, and am confident that the overwhelming majority will continue to do so this weekend.”

Possible breaches of COVID-19 restrictions should not be reported on social media or by calling the police. Bedfordshire Police has a monitored online reporting tool with a dedicated lockdown section.

Reporting this way will help the Force to maintain its 101 and 999 services to prioritise emergency calls to those most at risk of harm.

For the latest government advice, always check www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

GP practices and pharmacies across Bedfordshire will be providing services over the early May Bank Holiday weekend. Information will be available at your local surgery or pharmacy, or at Bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/home/.

If you are concerned that you or a member of your family may have coronavirus symptoms, don’t go to your GP, hospital or pharmacy. Instead, use the NHS 111 online service  to check your symptoms and get advice about what to do next.