Over 100 people were issued verbal warnings for flouting face cover rules in the town, while only two were issued fines.

Although coronavirus fines handed out in England and Wales appear to be at an all time high, in Watford just two people between October 17 and 24 were issued Fixed Penalty Notices for refusing to cooperate with current face covering rules.

However the Watford Borough Council Protection team, in partnership with the local police force, also issued 100 verbal warnings to people in the town and visited 400 Watford businesses as the team held a Covid action week in an effort to halt the spread of Covid-19.

This comes after Watford Chief Inspector Ian Grout said officers “will not hesitate” to issue fines to those who are not exempt and continue to flout coronavirus rules.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says 564 businesses were visited last week, 130 of which were in Three Rivers and the rest in Watford.

The team found that a few small venues without sufficient booking systems failed to have strong Covid safety measures in place, but the majority of local businesses were functioning well.

Watford Observer:

The Covid-19 action week was held to educate the public about restrictions

It was also concluded that the town’s barber shops “stood out” as a sector that needs to “do more” for its customers.

Chief Insp. Grout said: “Most people our officers encountered on the streets who were not acting as they should took immediate action to address their behaviours and it was encouraging that over the course of the week we noticed a general improvement in Covid-compliance in public spaces across the town.

“But if a person does not comply when asked by a police officer then we will not hesitate to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to those who are not exempt yet continue to wilfully ignore what is mandatory.

“We will continue to work closely with Watford Borough Council so residents and businesses face the consequences of their actions for ignoring the rules.”

Watford Observer:

100 warnings were issued, and two fines were issued

Since the introduction of the tiered Covid alert system on October 14, there were 65 fines in Tier 1 areas, 79 fines in Tier 2 areas, and 124 fines in Tier 3 areas.

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “The increased enforcement activity and public health awareness raising across the week demonstrates our zero-tolerance approach for any residents and businesses ignoring the restrictions.

“A further 100+ Covid-19 infections in Watford have been recorded over the past seven days - our businesses and residents must continue to do everything they can to keep the infection rate down.

"We are also seeing the impact of these increasing infection rates on Watford General Hospital as people from our communities are falling seriously ill and are needing hospital care. The following weeks remain crucial for the town.”