From West Mercia Police:

After our first weekend with Herefordshire being in Tier One we sadly have a message for the those who don’t live and work here:

Please don’t come and visit, for now…

On Saturday night licensees turned away between 250 and 300 people who wanted to drink in local pubs but weren’t from Tier One addresses. One individual had travelled around 200 miles just to come to the pub.

Turning these people away was a decision by licensees and they had, and continue to have, our full support. Turning down trade must have been especially hard after the year they have had but they were doing it for absolutely the right reasons and in line with Government guidance.

We also saw how hard businesses were working to comply with Covid-19 safety measures; ensuring there was table service only, staff wearing masks and last orders at 10pm, with some making the decision to close earlier.

The weekend before Christmas we always have additional officers on patrol to ensure those out celebrating are doing so safely, this year was no exception, and we did have more to reassure the community around compliance with Covid-19 regulations and to support local businesses.

When we spoke to people who had travelled to drink here the vast majority were compliant and headed home. There was minimal disorder and thankfully only one Fixed Penalty Notice was required, where someone refused to wear a mask.

The good news for Herefordshire residents is that you can enjoy the hospitality in our beautiful county. The shops, pubs and restaurants are very much open for business to local people, of course still following the rule of six and other Tier One rules.

Being so proud of our county and normally very welcoming of visitors it is a message we never thought we’d say but please, stay away for now and we will look forward to welcoming you all again when it’s safe to do so.