Additional police will be deployed in Scotland to ensure pubs and restaurants comply with new restrictions and close to indoor customers by 6pm.
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said officers will be “highly visible” in communities as the latest measures to combat a rise in coronavirus cases come into force.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes outside central Scotland will only be allowed to operate indoors between 6am and 6pm from Friday and not serve alcohol, though drinks can be served until 10pm in outdoor areas.
But pubs and licensed restaurants in the central belt will be forced to close for all but takeaway service for 16 days from 6pm on Friday.
Mr Livingstone said while there have been overwhelming levels of co-operation with Covid-19 restrictions, a small minority of people “continue to host or participate in house parties and house gatherings”.
In the week up to Sunday, police data shows officers broke up 271 house parties, issued 106 fixed penalties and made 18 arrests.
Mr Livingstone said: “Officers will be highly visible in communities over the weekend to engage with the public, explain the new advice, guidance and restrictions and encourage people to do the right thing.
“These significant restrictions on our freedoms do not affect everyone equally and I have been clear from the outset that constables will exercise the discretion of their office to work with our fellow citizens in a collective effort to protect lives.
“The police service of Scotland will continue to work with courtesy, compassion and common sense to help keep people safe.
“Despite overwhelming levels of co-operation and support, I am concerned that a small minority of people continue to host or participate in house parties and house gatherings.
“While restrictions have changed quickly and often, I do not believe anyone in Scotland can be in any doubt that house gatherings and house parties allow the virus to spread and are unlawful.
“It is very clear that, with some legitimate exemptions, people should not be visiting each other’s houses.
“Where we encounter wilful, repeated, persistent or flagrant breaches, we will, as the public would expect and support, act decisively to enforce the law.”
Police data shows officers have had more than 75,000 coronavirus-related interactions with members of the public, with around 4,000 – or just over 5% – resulting in formal enforcement action.
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