LOCAL police have received a number of calls from the public concerned at people out and about in rural areas of Shetland and not adhering to social distancing measures, according to police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch.
He said the majority of people in Shetland are complying with the guidance from the government restricting movement in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
On Friday (27 March) the police received powers to fine people for not complying with the rules, although it is thought that locally this would be a last resort – with the powers of persuasion a more likely tool in the first instance.
Speaking on Monday, Tulloch confirmed that local police have increased their patrols in Shetland as a result.
He also reiterated that people should exercise in “open spaces near your home” instead of driving to rural areas to walk.
“The majority of people are complying with the instruction from the government to stay at home, unless they have a reasonable excuse,” Tulloch said.
“We have received a number of calls from the public who are concerned at people out and about in the more rural areas of Shetland and not adhering to social distancing measures.
“I want to reassure our communities that we have increased patrols across our communities and will continue to challenge, in a constructive manner, those who do not comply.
“If you leave your home to exercise and get fresh air, please use open spaces near your home and do not travel unnecessarily. You should only undertake travel if essential.
“Please remember these requirements are in place to reduce opportunities to spread Covid-19, reduce the burden on our health service and save lives.”
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