Essex Police has dished out more than 20 fines to people who did not wear a face covering, it has been revealed. 

Almost 1,000 fines were issued by police in Essex for breaches of Covid-19 laws over Christmas and the start of this year, figures show.

From March 27 last year to April 18 this year there were 24 for failing to wear a face covering when required, and 14 for breaching international travel rules.

There were also 15 for breaking business regulations and nine for holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

They also included five fines were given for breaching self-isolation regulations.

The remaining fines were for offences not specifically provided by the NPCC at a force level.

The figures cover the end of the tier system, which saw stricter restrictions on hospitality businesses and a banning of travel between areas with different tiers.

It was followed by the third national lockdown from January 6 when people were told to stay at home.

Since then, a lifting of restrictions saw schools reopen in March followed by a rule allowing groups of up to six of two households to meet outside.

The data published by the National Police Chiefs' Council reveal a total of 1,421 fixed penalty notices were recorded as being issued by Essex Police between March 27 last year and April 18 this year.

They include 916 fines after December 20 – 64 per cent of the total handed out by officers since the pandemic began.

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The figures also show the number of fines issued over more recent weeks, with 153 given out by officers between March 14 and April 18.

Across England and Wales police forces have issued 110,322 FPNs under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations.

Reasons for lockdown rules being broken have included a 31-year-old man stopped at Stansted Airport after attempting to leave the country for a two-week break to visit family.

There was also a 39-year-old man was issued with an fix penalty notice FPN after trying to board a flight to see relatives in Italy.

A 43-year-old woman was fined after refusing to pack up her blankets and chairs on Clacton beach even though our officers explained this was a breach of the Covid rules.

A 32-year-old Wickford woman was issued with an FPN after inviting eight friends to her son’s birthday party. When officers arrived, guests fled over a fence.