POLICE officers will patrol outside pubs and restaurants to make sure people are complying with the new 10pm curfew.

Under new rules announced by prime minister Boris Johnson, licensed premises will have to close earlier in an effort to halt further spread of coronavirus.

Ahead of the rule coming in to effect on Thursday night, one of Cumbria’s most senior officers confirmed police would be strictly enforcing the new measure.

Cumbria Constabulary’s assistant chief Constable Andrew Slattery, said: “The new measures include the closing of licensed premises at 10pm and Police officers will patrol areas where licensed premises operate to ensure the regulations are being respected, and to prevent people from congregating in the street afterwards. If you are out socialising then please go home as soon as the pubs and takeaways close at 10pm.”

ACC Slattery welcomed the latest measures announced by the prime minister and sent a message to people in the county urging them to comply - or face action in the form of fixed penalty notices.

He said: “The situation which has been developing in recent weeks meant that continued release of lockdown was no longer sustainable and measures had to be taken to apply the brakes.

“Hopefully these measures will have the desired effect but more stringent restrictions may need to come into force if they do not.

“The vast majority of people in Cumbria were fantastic in respecting the restrictions earlier this year.

“People not only protected their own health but protected the well-being of others, including close family members, which resulted in greatly reduced infections and provided relief for the NHS.

“We are now asking you to do the same and I am confident Cumbrian people will again meet the challenge and adhere to the new regulations.

“For the minority who do not, my message is that we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who show a wilful disregard for the health and well-being of themselves and others.”