MORE than 350 fines for coronavirus lockdown breaches have now been handed out in Warrington this year, according to Cheshire Police.

Figures released by the force showed that 352 fixed penalty notices have so far been issued in the town during 2021.

This is the highest number of any area in the county.

And police are warning residents to abide by the rules ahead of the further relaxation of restrictions from Monday.

Assistant chief constable Jenny Sims said: “Earlier this week, the Prime Minister confirmed that the roadmap out of restrictions is on track and this is certainly the positive news we all need.

“This shows that the majority of the public are sticking to the rules and following the guidance in place in order to meet the four tests to continue easing the restrictions.

“However, now that we are successfully moving into step two, we must continue to stick to the rules in place in order to keep the rate of coronavirus infections down.

“This means that when you do go to visit outdoor hospitality venues, you need to follow the measures in place to protect not only yourself, but your loved ones.

“Our officers will continue to engage and explain the new regulations while assisting local councils and licensing teams to ensure the move into step two is done safely.

“There is no longer the need to stay at home or stay local, but I would urge people to remember that coronavirus is still a real threat in this country.

“Although we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is still a long way to go.

“The constabulary will continue its work in supporting local communities as we have done throughout the pandemic, but when officers are met with blatant and repeat breaches of the restrictions they will enforce in order to protect the public.”

Chester had the second highest number of breaches in Cheshire between January 4 and April 4, with 226.

Crewe came in third with 220 fines issued, followed by Widnes, Macclesfield and Runcorn with 211, 209 and 135 notices handed out in each town respectively.

Northwich has had 117 FPNs in 2021, while 92 breaches have been recorded in Ellesmere Port.