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ACC Nick Bailey: "I appreciate it's been a difficult year for everyone and the rapid changes in rules has required people to amend their plans at the last minute over the festive period. I want to thank the majority of people in Greater Manchester for complying with the regulations throughout the year. It's been tough and continues to be, but I remain hopeful for next year with the rollout of the vaccine.
"Following the Government's announcement last Saturday, the temporary relaxing of restrictions was reduced from five days to just one. This is due to the continued risk of the virus spreading as well as scientific findings showing a new strain that spreads more rapidly. Your health is a priority and the restrictions are in place provide better protection for everyone.
"GMP officers will be out on patrol over the Christmas period and will respond to any clear and obvious breaches of the tier 3 regulations. I know the vast majority of people will be sensible and do the right thing throughout this time and we do not plan to check on people's celebrations. However, if we do receive a report of a blatant breach that jeopardises the safety of others, we will investigate and, if needed, an FPN will be issued.
"Due to the development of the new strain, there may be further changes announced from Government to the restrictions we are currently in. If this happens we will continue to police using the four Es to ensure the restrictions are fairly and proportionately enforced.
"There is no lifting of restrictions over the New Year period, so celebrations will be different. Please stay at home and consider joining online events or organising a virtual celebration with friends and family.
"It's not the end to the year that we had hoped for but the health of everyone is currently the priority, so the restrictions remain until we are in a better position for them to be lifted.
"Thank you again for your cooperation and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas."