From 00.01 on Saturday Box Day (26 December), all of Sussex will move into the tier 4 restrictions following the latest government announcement.

These carry the ‘stay at home’ message, unless you’re leaving the house for a legally exempt ‘reasonable excuse’.

This also follows new Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Prime Minister over the weekend, including changes in the regulations around Christmas Day.

Superintendent Julia Pope explained: “We recognise this is a difficult time for everyone and we are aware this pandemic has affected everyone in many different ways.

“However this new variant of the virus is more transmittable and it is important right now that we all work together. People need to think about their actions because everything you do could save a life. It is about our own personal responsibility

“Over the last nine months the vast majority of the people we have interacted with have understood and complied with regulations so we haven’t had to use a lot of enforcement. I think this is a great reflection on how the people of Sussex are behaving and would like this behaviour to continue, especially over the Christmas and New Year period.

“We are all aware of the rules and it is vital we all try and do our bit and adhere to them.
“This policing operation is far wider than people think. We have dedicated resources and our officers are being proactive by conducting daily patrols. These patrols will target areas where we know there may be large groups of people gathering such as parks and outdoor spaces.

“Where there are blatant breaches and flouting of these regulations then we will intervene, we will be robust and we will take enforcement. We will not accept the reckless actions of certain people who are putting our communities at risk.

“This pandemic is not only affecting the public but us too. Many of our officers – as well as other emergency and key workers – will not be able to see family this year. We need everyone to work with us and hopefully next year, we will be in a much better place.”

A full list of the guidance and rules of living in a tier 4 area can be found on the government website

Guidance on forming a Christmas bubble can be found on the government website.