A police force has urged people to remember that coronavirus “has not gone away” and says it will take enforcement action against organisers of illegal events.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is issuing the warning following an outbreak of COVID-19 in Hertsmere.

Hertfordshire County Council has said that large gatherings and house parties that happened in the Borehamwood area in late August are to blame for the spread of COVID-19 in the borough, which has seen at least 60 people living in Hertsmere test positive over the last week.

Read more - Schools could close as house parties blamed for Hertsmere Covid-19 spread

Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge from the county’s police force said that people need to be “mindful that coronavirus continues to be a very real threat to our health”.

He said: “Nationally, specific areas have been forced back into lockdown due to a significant increase in infection rates and, more locally, here in Hertfordshire, Public Health experts have issued warnings about an increase in COVID-19 case, especially among younger people.

“This is not a problem that has gone away and those who attend large gatherings are putting themselves and everyone they come into contact with at risk, such as relatives and friends.

“Last weekend, as part of a Local Resilience Forum push, police officers teamed up with fire crews, Trading Standards and environmental health officers to talk to residents in Borehamwood, Hemel Hempstead and Tring, reminding everyone of the importance of taking coronavirus precautions like wearing face coverings in shops, social distancing and increased hygiene.”

Ch Supt Liversidge added that people who do organise events such as illegal raves or a house party risk being fined £10,000.

He said: “The vast majority of people have been doing the right thing for the sake of everyone but Hertfordshire Constabulary will take enforcement action against organisers of illegal events.

“If you organise an illegal rave or a house party in the current climate you could be fined £10,000 for breaking the law with all those found to be in attendance fined £100.

“If you have information about a planned unlicensed event please let us know as soon as possible so that we can take the appropriate action.”

Cllr Tim Hutchings, executive member for public health in Hertfordshire, said: “We now need all residents in Hertsmere to pay really close attention to this serious issue of the spread of COVID-19, as well as working with community leaders, to remind them of the importance of following the government’s guidance to minimise the risks of the spread of COVID-19. If we do not get a grip on this local outbreak, then the risk is that schools may need to close.

“We have written again today to parents and carers of children at schools where fellow pupils are now playing their part by self-isolating, with a stern warning: stop these house parties and private events or face enforcement action of up to a £10,000 fine.”