PEOPLE who continue to flout coronavirus lockdown rules will be breaking the law and could be arrested by police.

The warning came as people across Dorset continued to ignore warnings to stay at home.

Groups have been congregating on Weymouth seafront, while beachgoers have been moved on by police. Groups have also been gathering at skate parks.

All this has been in the midst of a lockdown which is supposed to restrict people’s movements to help stop the spread of coronavirus, and as all of Dorset’s public sector organisations come together to appeal to residents to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Weymouth and Portland Police were called to attend the pier bandstand on the Esplanade yesterday afternoon following reports of a large group of individuals. The group was not adhering to the Government guidelines and was also carrying out anti-social behaviour in the area. Three section 35 dispersal notices were issued.

Police had to ask people to leave Abbotsbury beach car park after several families turned up. The car park was later fenced off.

On Wednesday, the team received reports that a peregrine falcon nest had been disturbed by climbers and someone flying a drone - despite the clear signage in the area. This is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

A spokesman said: “We will look to prosecute any persons found ignoring the signage.”

These weren’t the only example of people ignoring the Government’s instruction to stay at home. Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team said there were several incidents on Wednesday, including officers having to move people on from skate parks in Sherborne.

The team is urging people to ask themselves if their journey is essential.

People are still going to the coast and beach despite the Government’s warnings to stay at home because of Covid-19.

Coastguards are still getting a number of calls reporting groups of people on beaches.

Pete Mizen, assistant director for HM Coastguard, said: “The rules are very simple. Stay at home.

“The risk of spreading coronavirus is huge and while you might be okay, the person you give it to may not. And if you get into trouble and have to call 999 and ask for the coastguard, you’re then putting frontline emergency responders at risk of Covid-19 too.

“At this time of the year the beaches aren’t lifeguarded which is a double risk to you and our emergency responders. Help us to help you. Stay at home.”

People are now only entitled to leave their property for shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, medical need, to care for a vulnerable person and travelling to work only when absolutely necessary.

It comes as police were given new powers to tackle those ignoring the rules.

Those who ignore tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially and another for £120 for a second offence, the Home Office warned.

Officers in England were given the power to enforce rules on staying at home and avoiding non-essential travel as of 1pm on Thursday.

They can order members of the public to go home, leave an area, have the power to disperse a group, using “reasonable force, if necessary”.

Police can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the powers were designed to “protect the public and keep people safe”.

According to the guidance, the cost of initial fixed penalty notices will be cut to £30 if paid within 14 days and those who do not pay could be taken to court and risk facing costs for unlimited fines.

Refusing to provide a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence.

The Home Office said: “If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.

“However, in the first instance, the police will always apply their common sense and discretion.”