ONE of the county's most senior police officers says the new coronavirus restrictions could have gone further and warns of more strict measures if the public doesn't obey.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed a number of new restrictions for the country this week, with areas such as Leeds and parts of Greater Manchester placed into local lockdown due to rising cases.

"The Government has got a difficult balancing act trying to stop the spread of the virus with protecting the economy," said Cumbria Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable, and Chair of Cumbria’s Strategic Co-ordinating Group, Andrew Slattery.

"For protection and stopping the spread of the virus, more could have been done and more may be done in the future."

Here is a recap of the main new restrictions:

  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and hospitality venues must close from 10pm;
  • Table service is now a requirement for these businesses, except for takeaways;
  • Face coverings must be worn by all staff working in retail and those using taxis;
  • From Monday the number of people allowed to attend weddings will be restricted to 15;
  • The return of business conferences, live exhibitions and spectators to large sporting events from October 1 will be suspended;
  • Rule of six restrictions extended to all adult indoor team sports;
  • Fines for those not wearing face masks or breaking rule of six restrictions will be doubled to £200 for a first offence;
  • The military will be drafted in to support police in enforcing the measures, if required;
  • No changes to the advice for those who were previously shielding, except if you live in a lockdown area.

The Assistant Chief Constable said hospitality venues did follow the new rules in the first night of the 10pm curfew on Thursday.

"We didn't have any problems," he said.

"We had patrols out specifically looking at licensed premises and looking at people coming out onto the street.

"We had no significant problems. Although it was a Thursday night which we know are quieter than weekends anyway.

"We did have staff out around that time to make sure people did comply."

ACC Slattery added that people in Cumbria generally do understand the need for the rules and will adhere.

The senior police officer urges people to follow the new rules to help protect the NHS in the lead-up to winter.

"It is absolutely essential people respond positively and adhere to this new rules," he said.

"If they don't they risk much more stringent lockdown rules in the next few weeks and months.

"We have to slow this virus down. We've got increasing rates across the country.

"It may seem like the numbers are low but the rate is increasing."

He added that hospital admissions and cases were rising in the county.