HUNDREDS of fines for coronavirus lockdown breaches have been handed out in Runcorn and Widnes so far this year.

Cheshire Police have revealed that a total of 207 fixed penalty notices were issued in Widnes between January 4 and March 28 – the fourth highest number dished out in any area of the county.

Meanwhile 135 breaches were recorded in Runcorn during the same period, the sixth highest figure for Cheshire.

Warrington has had the most Covid-related FPNs in the area in 2021 to date, with 345.

Chester was ranked in second with 216, closely followed by Crewe with 213.

Macclesfield, Northwich and Ellesmere Port had 202, 98 and 89 fines respectively during the three month-period.

A further 51 notices were imposed on the motorway network, bringing the total number of fines related to Covid breaches in Cheshire in 2021 to date to 1,556.

Now the force is urging residents to stick to the current social distancing measures following the latest relaxation in rules on Monday.

Assistant chief constable Jenny Sims said: “Although it is great to see the relaxation of restrictions across the country, we must not become complacent.

“The threat of coronavirus is still very much with us, and we must stick to the rules and guidance in place in order to continue to see a drop in the number of cases.

“This includes the wearing of face coverings and social distancing when you are with people from outside of your household.

“Last year, I know many families were not able to celebrate Easter in the way they would have liked to and this was one of the many sacrifices we all had to make to get to this point now.

“Undoubtedly this year will still be different, but the relaxation of the rules offer a glimmer of hope in allowing families to meet as long as you follow the rule of six or meet with one other household outdoors.

“Sadly, the fact remains that you will not be able to meet with family and friends indoors as it is still deemed too risky at this stage.

“We must respect the rules in place and by doing this we can stick to the national roadmap, which will guide us out of these restrictions.”

Officers will be ‘engaging with the public across Cheshire’s outdoor sites’ over the Easter weekend.

ACC Sims added: “We expect to see a lot of people flocking to the county’s beauty spots over the bank holiday.

“Although we welcome visitors, we would urge that you please think whether your journey is necessary and whether you can do this closer to home.

“If you do visit one of our sites, please follow the guidance in place to keep you and others safe and to respect the countryside code.”