A POLICE chief has urged residents not to stray into the countryside this bank holiday weekend.

Michelle Skeer, the chief constable of Cumbria Constabulary has warned people that lives will be put at risk if they flaunt the Coronavirus lockdown.

It comes as the numbers dying from the virus in the county reached 125 and over 7,000 nationwide.

She said: "I am very proud of the manner in which the vast majority of Cumbrians have conducted themselves in recent weeks, during this unprecedented public health emergency.

The Government has asked us, the public, to make substantial changes to the way we live our lives and in Cumbria, with few exceptions, this message has been heeded and followed.

“However, all of the effort people have demonstrated so far could be undone if the measures put in place to save lives and protect the NHS are ignored this Bank Holiday weekend.

“The message has gone out loud and clear from Cumbria that this is not a time for tourists to be travelling to the county.

"My officers will be on patrol, in all areas across the county, particularly in the traditional popular areas and gathering spots. Where they come across people travelling from other areas to spend the Bank Holiday in Cumbria, or people not following the social distancing guidelines, they will engage with them, explain the guidance and encourage people to go home, only as a last resort where reason fails, enforcement action will be taken."

She also urged local people to stay at home, adding: "Continue to follow the guidance, only leave your home if it is essential and when exercising, please use common sense in deciding how far from home it is necessary to travel.

“The purpose of the restrictions is to save the lives of people in our community and to save the lives of medical professionals caring for those in our local hospitals.

“We, and our partners, are supporting the multi agency response in the county to ensure that we are ready and can respond to how the virus impacts on our local communities in Cumbria.

"’d like to thank everyone for their commitment, dedication and work to ensure we are prepared."