Police had to disperse a group of cricketers and were also told about customers queuing at an ice-cream van as government advice to stay at home was ignored.

Officers have been out patrolling the streets of Watford ensuring residents are abiding by the Prime Minister's rules to stay inside where possible because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it seems not everyone is heeding the message.

Watford Police posted on Facebook about three incidents they were called to yesterday afternoon - in the space of just 30 minutes.

The force posted on Tuesday: "Today, whilst we have been out on patrol, we have unfortunately seen so many examples of people ignoring the latest advice given by the Government to keep people safe.

"Examples of calls from members of the public, in Watford in the LAST HALF AN HOUR ALONE:

  • 10-15 people playing cricket together. All handling the same ball and using no protection
  • Large groups of youths congregating, playing football and smoking by cars
  • People queuing within close proximity for a ice cream van

"We have also had to close off various outdoor gym areas and parks because people were continuing to use them without any precautions."

People can only leave their homes for a small number of reasons.

These are for food or medicine supplies, to travel to work, for one form of exercise, or to go out for a medical need.

From Thursday, police will be given powers to disperse groups of more than two people and those who refuse the officers' request will be fined.

People flouting coronavirus lockdown rules will be slapped with an initial £30 fine and could end up in court if they do not pay - although police in Hertfordshire will only enforce fines as a 'last resort'.

Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: "This is a public health emergency and compliance with these measures are considered necessary to achieve the objective of effective social distancing.

"We have all heard the scientific advice which clearly states this will slow the spread of the virus and save people’s lives.

"The Constabulary urges self-compliance within all Hertfordshire’s communities. Officers and staff will encourage all citizens to do so, remind those who we see in public who we believe may not be following them to do so, and only resort to enforcement action as a last resort.

"If we all work at this together we will slow the spread, save more lives and enable us to return to normality sooner."

In Watford alone, four patients who contracted coronavirus have died.

In Hertfordshire, the government has identified 139 positive cases of Covid-19 as of 9am on Tuesday.