Original article from Kent Live
Kent Police has warned people it will be carrying out additional patrols in town centres this weekend.
Today marks the first weekend of pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops being open to the public, since lockdown 3 began.
Officers are reminding pubgoers and shoppers it is vital to follow the coronavirus rules this weekend.
A warning has also been issued to those carrying out parties and unlicensed music events.
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As of Monday (April 12), lockdown restrictions were eased to the delight of many.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes can now once again open their doors to serve customers outside.
All non-essential shops opened their doors to the nation on Monday, which saw incredible queues outside Primark.
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Faulconbridge said: "The easing of COVID-19 restrictions has provided people with more options to go out and visit shops, pubs and other venues but there are still rules in place and it is vital people continue to follow them, for the safety of both themselves and others.
"Our licensing officers have been working closely with local businesses to help them prepare for this next step and it has been pleasing to see how committed everyone is to following the national guidance and keeping people as safe as possible.
"I am confident the majority of people in Kent will continue to stick to the regulations as they have done throughout the pandemic.
"For those who choose not to follow the rules, officers will continue to follow the '4E' approach of engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
"We also ask people who are planning to drink to remember to do so responsibly.
"Whilst we fully understand the desire among many to head to the pub this weekend, we will not hesitate to take action against the small minority whose behaviour may cross the line and result in other people being put at risk."
The next step in easing restrictions for the nation does not come into effect until May 17, where the likes of pubs and restaurants will be able to open up for business indoors.
The stages in the roadmap out of lockdown, depend on the number of hospitalisations there are, that the vaccine deployment programme is successful, and the number of COVID-19 infections.
Faulconbridge added: "Whilst it is encouraging to see that many people are being vaccinated against Covid-19 and the infection rate is slowing, no one can be complacent and use that as an excuse to breach the current regulations.
"COVID-19 still poses a serious risk to public health and large gatherings such as parties and unlicensed music events may cause spikes in infections.
"Anyone who is organising such a gathering does not need the regulations explained to them, and in these situations our officers will quickly move to enforcement and issue them with a fine.
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we need to continue to work together to ensure we get there as soon as possible so we can all enjoy the freedoms we were used to before the national restrictions were first introduced."