Police are still issuing almost 70 Covid fines every day despite major relaxations in lockdown rules, the latest figures have revealed.
Despite what is hoped will be the end of restrictions on July 19, police forces across England and Wales are continuing to come down hard on those who ignore the rules.
In the month to June 20, officers handed out a total of 2010 fixed penalty notices for a range of Covid breaches such as organising and attending mass gatherings, failing to wear face masks where required and refusing to self-isolate when returning from abroad.
Data released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) revealed that, since the start of the pandemic last March, a total of 117,213 fines have now been issued byin England and Wales.
But critics have questioned whether consistency is being applied in the issuing of fines as some clear breaches have not been penalised.
Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Scotland football supporters descended on London and gathered in large groups ahead of the European Championship clash with England. While the mass gatherings were permitted to take place, elsewhere a total of 25 people were fined £10,000 for organising parties with more than 30 guests.
In addition, more than 160 people were handed fines of £800 in June for gathering in groups of more than 15 in defiance of the continuing rules. There have also been dozens of fines issued to people who refuse to wear face masks on public transport and in other public spaces.
In the last month, police have fined a total of 12 people who failed to adhere to quarantine rules after returning to the UK from abroad.
The 2,010 fines issued in June were almost half the number handed out in May, but senior police officers are warning people not to become complacent about the rules that remain in place.
Martin Hewitt, the chairman of the NPCC, said: "Once again, the number of fines processed in the last four weeks has fallen considerably as we continue to make good progress and edge closer to the end of lockdown. Despite the slight easing of the rules relating to some activities such as weddings, commemorative events and care home visits, we mustn’t forget that there are still some restrictions in place.
"Our officers will continue to carry out patrols and will engage with the public to keep explaining the restrictions which remain in place."