Devon and Cornwall Police are urging residents to stick to the Government’s lockdown measures this bank holiday weekend.

The bank holiday on Friday (May 8) marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which, before the coronavirus pandemic, was set to be a weekend of festivities and street parties to celebrate the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said while the poignant event is something people should keep at the front of their minds, it is not the time to stop adhering to social distancing measures.

He said: “VE Day allows us to all take some time to reflect on the sacrifice, courage and determination of those who played their part during the Second World War.

“This is something that we should all keep at the front of our minds as we are all asked to do our part to help tackle the spread of this deadly virus - Please find the time to mark the VE Day celebrations and to do so in a safe way.

“Now is not the time to relax social distancing measures and to pop and see a few friends. The Government direction, at this time, continues to be to social distance and it is important that we all adhere to it.

“An area that concerns me is the gathering of groups. Whilst we will continue to engage with people to understand, over the weekend my officers will enforce as a last resort.”

The Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum (LRF), which includes local emergency services, the Environment Agency, Public Health England and Devon, North Devon and Torridge councils, has launched a new campaign asking people to ‘think twice’ before considering leaving the home.

ACC Mayhew said: “What we do collectively can mean the difference between saving lives and risking lives.

“The lockdown that we are currently living through affects us; not being able to be with family or friends; impacts on peoples work and businesses; financial concerns and the impact that this plays on our mental health – this is a challenging time.

“We need to do all we can to prevent this virus from gaining the ability to escalate further. So I am asking you to ‘Think Twice’ before you consider leaving your home.”