More police patrols have been conducted to enforce lockdown regulations, it was announced.
People who break the rules were classified as “dangerous, selfish and completely irresponsible” at the latest Downing Street press conference.
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, said, “At this critical time, more officers will be on dedicated patrol to take action.”
He condemned the “irresponsible behavior” of “a persistent number of people who refused to obey the rules”.
The warning came after it became known that nearly 45,000 fines had been imposed on anyone who broke the rules since the pandemic began.
Interior Minister Priti Patel, who opened the press conference, urged people to stay home.
“We are asking you to stay home to protect the NHS and save lives,” she said.
The Home Secretary said “far too often” police officers endanger their health and lives by “coming into close contact with people, including those who deny the existence of coronavirus to protect us all”.
She added: “We are now at a critical stage in our fight against this virus.
“To protect those who matter to you and our hospitals’ ability to protect us all, please stay home to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Mr Hewitt said we are in “the most dangerous stage of the pandemic” and there is a real risk that the NHS will be overwhelmed.
He asked people to ask themselves, “Is your reason for leaving the house imperative?”
The government said an additional 1,243 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 81,960 in the UK.
Separate numbers released by the UK statistical authorities for deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, as well as additional data on deaths that have occurred in the past few days, show that there are now 99,000 deaths from Covid 19 gave.
The government also said there had been an additional 45,533 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
The total number of cases in the UK is 3,118,518.
Mr. Hewitt highlighted several cases where police had taken action in the past few days.
In Hertfordshire, he said a boat party with more than 40 people had to stop.
Elsewhere, a minibus had to be intercepted driving from Cheltenham to Wales for several people to walk.
In Surrey, he said a party had been stopped where the promoter claimed it was a business event.
An illegal rave was stopped in Bristol and 38 people were fined.
“We’re not going to waste time arguing with people like that,” he said.