People from Wales have been told not to cross the border into England without good reason if it brings them into areas with low Covid-19 restrictions.
Herefordshire, one of four English counties that straddle the Welsh border, has been placed under the lowest tier of restrictions.
Herefordshire’s chief constable has urged people in Wales not to cross the border unnecessarily in the run up to Christmas.
While in Wales hospitality can serve no alcohol at all, in Tier 1 areas of England venues can serve it without the need for food – as long as it is done via table service in a Covid-secure setting.
However, Police said that they are keen for people to remain in their home area and not spread the virus in neighbouring counties which may have looser rules.
West Mercia Police chief constable Anthony Bangham, whose force covers Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, said that enforcement powers will be used if people are caught crossing the border for a day out.
“Herefordshire is the only area in the UK being reduced from Tier 2 to Tier 1,” Chief Constable Bangham said.
“I ask those in Wales and neighbouring counties to respect the effort that the communities of Herefordshire have made by continuing to avoid unnecessary travel into Herefordshire.
“We will use our enforcement powers where it is necessary and appropriate and where serious breaches take place that put others at risk of this deadly virus.
“We must all continue to follow the regulations for the area in which we live.
“I know this has been a difficult year for everyone and there may be the temptation to socialise in areas with lesser restrictions but I would urge people to exercise restraint. We do not want to stop people from enjoying the festive period but I urge you to think carefully about your plans and stick to the rules to keep each other safe.
“In many areas of our force, we share a border with Wales and I recognise there will be concerns about how the differing rules will be managed, particularly for those who live on the border.”