SUSSEX Police are urging the public to play their part in preventing the spread of coronavirus as the new 'rule of six' law comes into force today.

The change in regulation means both indoor and outdoor gatherings are now limited to six people, except in a small number of circumstances including in schools, workplaces and organised team sports.

The force said officers will be taking action to disperse groups of more than six people where necessary, and will issue fines to those who do not comply.

Superintendent Julia Pope said: “Everyone has a part to play in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

"We will be doing all we can and we encourage others to do the same by following the new rules set out by the government.

“Our officers will continue to engage with their communities and in most situations, this engagement can resolve breaches without us having to issue a fine. We will issue fines when people refuse to comply."

Supt. Pope added that demands on the police are now back to "pre-Covid levels", making it more important for individuals to take responsibility for preventing the spread of coronavirus so officers can attend to emergencies.

She said: "Our priorities lie with public safety and so it is even more important that people take personal responsibility for their actions and do their bit to prevent the spread of the virus, so the force can operate effectively for those who need us.

“If people are aware of a serious and current breach of the government’s coronavirus regulations, we would ask them to report it to us online. 

“We will continue to work closely with the government, businesses, local authorities and partner agencies to make Sussex a safe place for people to live, work and visit.

"We ask the public to work with us and act responsibly to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

The new law comes amid concerns about an increase in cases of coronavirus across the country.

More than 3,000 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK for the third day in a row yesterday – the first time since May that cases were above 3,000 on three consecutive days.