Over the course of the bank holiday weekend, Greater Manchester Police will be releasing a collection of homemade videos on behalf of well-known local personalities, frontline workers and community members urging the public to follow the Government guidelines around social distancing.
The first of those videos has been released today and features a compilation of key workers such as police officers and staff, a nurse and a teacher. Supporting them are messages from Marcus Rashford (Manchester United FC), Michael Carrick (Manchester United FC), Steph Houghton (Manchester City FC), Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays), Dan Brocklebank (Coronation Street), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire County Cricket Club), Anthony Crolla (boxer) and Kyle Ross (Fuzzy Sun).
Traditionally, Easter weekend sees increased activity in and around public spaces - including places of worship, beauty spots and town centres - as well as large gatherings of families and friends at residential properties.
This year celebrations will differ, as we continue to follow Government guidelines and stay at home in an effort to help limit the transmission of COVID-19. Churches will be closed - including for private prayer - and people will be prohibited from taking part in social gatherings with those outside of their own household.
Although the majority of the public across Greater Manchester have abided by the guidelines since they came into effect, we have recently seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 breaches reported to police.
Between Wednesday 25 March and Tuesday 7 April 2020, there were 1132 incidents reported across the whole of Greater Manchester in total; which included 494 house parties, 166 street parties, 122 group gatherings for sporting activities, 173 gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour/public disorder amongst others.
Following this, high-profile voices from across Greater Manchester have joined together to support the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign to reinforce the importance of the Government message to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period; however it is vital that we follow the Government guidelines. We must do this to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and the NHS by preventing the spread of this highly contagious infection.
“I am incredibly grateful to all those who have provided their own homemade videos to lend their support to the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign because, as stressed by the Prime Minister, the single most important action we can take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to save lives.
“I would encourage everyone to enjoy themselves at home with their loved ones but please don’t socialise beyond the immediate people that you live with. Please don’t participate in other social gatherings inside or outside, no matter how big or small.
“We are trying to engage, explain, and encourage everyone to follow the Government guidance. However, where people do not comply with the guidelines, we will use the legislative powers. We hope that such actions will not be necessary and the public will work with us during this challenging time.
“GMP and other emergency services are doing everything we can to play our part to protect you and your loved ones, but we need to get through this together, as a community. So we ask that you do your part too and follow the Government’s instructions.
“We would like to thank the vast majority who continue to comply with these measures, but each and every one of us need take this seriously.
“Finally, I would like to wish you a happy Easter and urge you all to please take care of yourselves this weekend.”