Residents urged to control spread of COVID-19

As COVID-19 infection rates rise across the town, residents are urged to take action now to stop the spread of the virus before further restrictions are imposed on people and businesses.

COVID-19 infection rates in the town have risen significantly since the last week of September - over the last seven days 101 people have tested positive for the virus in Watford.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “We have a small window of opportunity to stay in control of the spread of COVID-19. Everyone must take responsibility now to lower the risks involved in all of the things we do in our day-to-day lives. Unless we do that, coronavirus could get a stronger grip than it has now and we risk not being able to see those people who are most important to us.”

To raise awareness of the issues, Watford Borough Council’s Community Protection team have, along with the local police force, organised a week of action on COVID-19 which runs from the 17-23 October. The team will be out and about talking to businesses to ensure they are following the guidelines to protect their workers.

There will be a display truck at different hotspots across the town reminding people of the key actions they need to take:

• Keep doing the basics: wash your hands, cover your face, make space
• If you have symptoms isolate and get tested: the quicker you know you’re at risk the quicker you can protect yourself and your loved ones
• Follow the rule of six
• Limit the number of people you see outside your home

To coincide with COVID-19 Action Week, two new police enforcement officers will be out and about on Watford’s streets checking that people are not flouting the rules. Where people refuse to co-operate on face coverings and keeping their distance from others, fixed penalty notices will be issued.

Watford Chief Inspector Ian Grout said: “We will be supporting our colleagues at Watford Borough Council in the coming week to ensure COVID-compliance in public spaces across the town. Previously, our emphasis has always been on encouraging people to comply with the rules, with enforcement as a last resort. But now, if a person does not comply when asked by officers they will not hesitate to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to those who are not exempt, yet continue to wilfully ignore what is mandatory. We understand that the Government legislation can be complex, so we regularly update the Coronavirus FAQ section of our website so you can keep track of the latest changes.”

Head of Community Protection at the council Justine Hoy added: “It sounds like an odd thing to say but we need everyone to act as if they have COVID-19 and don’t want to spread it - if you keep that idea in your head it will make you super careful wherever you are and whatever you are doing.”