Relaxing Covid Rules Takes Pressure Off Police

The relaxation of Plan B restrictions is good news for officers following two years of difficult Covid rules and lockdowns, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

The Government has announced that people are no longer being asked to work from home, while face masks will no longer be mandatory in shops and on public transport as the restrictions relax on 27 January.

However, Hampshire Constabulary will continue to ask officers to follow restrictions for the short term.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said officers are still being asked to socially distance and wear masks.

She said: “Enforcing new rules was a big concern when the Omicron variant arrived. There was concern that we would have to start giving out tickets again to people who don’t adhere to restrictions. So it’s good news that this won’t be the case. Enforcing the rules was a really tough time for officers, with guidelines changing so quickly.

“Officers were trying to keep up with what was legal what wasn’t legal, and then to do that and keep on top of everything else we were trying to do. So not having to worry about that is a positive. And with the stories in the media at the moment, the resistance we would have got from the general public would have increased. That would have created tension and more issues.”

Officers will also still be expected to isolate for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19, although absence rates haven’t been as high at the force as they have been across the rest of the country, Zoë said.

NPCC data from January showed a national absence rate for police officers and staff of 9.4%, while that figure hasn’t risen above 4% for Hampshire.

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