Covid lockdown laws could get tougher by the weekend if rule breakers continue

Lockdown could get even stricter if people continue to abuse the rules, ministers have warned.

Downing Street is considering introducing further measures in England to stop the spread of coronavirus as fears grow of Brits caring less about sticking to them.

The Daily Mail reports from government sources that ministers were told unless compliance improves by the weekend, lockdown will be tightened.

An insider said: “The compliance data is mixed.

“We should have better data by the weekend and at that point we will have to decide whether we need to go further.”

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Going 'further' could include banning two different households exercising together outdoors, scrapping click-and-collect shopping and shutting down businesses like food markets or estate agents, says The Sun.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister ’s spokesman said: “If we need to take further action we will.

“But the important thing now is we are asking people to stay at home.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel warned in a press conference that the government will not hold back from taking action if people insist on secretly meeting family and friends.

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Ms Patel said: “If you do not play your part, our selfless police officers will enforce the ­regulations and I will back them to do so.”

Almost 45,000 fixed penalty notices have already been issues to Covid-19 law flouters, she revealed but the police have been prepared to crackdown more.

Also at the conference on Tuesday was the chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, Martin Hewitt.

Mr Hewitt said: “At this critical time, we will have more dedicated police officers out on dedicated patrols to take action against the small few who are letting us all down.”

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Britain's most senior police officer, Dame Cressida Dick, added that law enforcement will be swift with blatant offenders.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We will move more quickly to enforcement, and particularly where somebody is breaking the law and breaking the regulations.

"If it is absolutely clear that they must have known, or do know that they are, then we will move very swiftly to enforcement and fining people."

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