A top public health boss has said pupils are being “reminded” to follow coronavirus rules as he warned that police will “ramp up” enforcement action.

Hertfordshire’s director of public health Jim McManus said the county council is working with schools to “inform and educate” young people and said that police will take action against people when there is a “blatant” disregard of the rules.

Mr McManus made the comments during a press briefing this morning (April 7) after being asked if steps were being taken to combat groups of young people not following the rules outside of school.

“You’ve got to feel for people,” Mr McManus said.

“We are working with a number of schools where we see a lot of people crowding to do kind of social media work but also actually to put school marshals on so they can support young people and inform and educate them. So, it is an encouragement approach.

“If groups really do get really far too large then police will enforce. They have done some enforcement recently in two large outdoor gatherings in Welwyn Hatfield I think in the last couple of weeks and others.

“It’s sort of a mixed bag of everyone doing their bit so we are reminding in schools and we encourage them in schools.”

Mr McManus added that a “successful” scheme in Watford which used advertising vans, marshals and school staff working around gates and with parents “worked really well”.

“That is going to be rolled out in other areas next and obviously the police will ramp up enforcement of where it (rules) is just really blatant and serious,” he said.