AVON and Somerset Police is to receive £1.3million from the Government to support increased enforcement of coronavirus rules.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the reimbursement cash due to officers playing a crucial role in helping to stop the spread of the virus by enforcing the Covid regulations to protect the public, while continuing with investigations and keeping our streets safe.

Forces across England and Wales are being given £60million in total, including £58million to help pay for costs incurred by police due to the pandemic, including overtime and making police stations Covid-secure.

As well as the Avon and Somerset handout, other South West forces will get £1.4million for Devon and Cornwall, £481,000 for Dorset, £478,000 for Wiltshire and £443,000 for Gloucestershire.

It brings the total amount of funding available to forces since the start of the pandemic to nearly £200million.

From Monday, some forces will also assist with further increased presence and enforcement of regulations at airports and ports, to ensure travellers are complying with new border health measures.

Additional officers will be deployed at airports and ports to support the enforcement of these regulations, including checking the reason for passengers’ journeys and helping to ensure compliance of arrivals from red list countries who will be part of the mandatory quarantine scheme.

Forces involved in these efforts - which include Avon and Somerset as Bristol Airpot falls within its patch - will receive a share of £2million to help cover costs of this additional activity to the end of March.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our police officers have worked tirelessly to keep the country’s streets safe while enforcing the coronavirus regulations to protect the NHS and save lives.

“The public also have a vital part to play. This includes not travelling unless essential, which is why police will also be stepping up checks at airports.

“We are committed to supporting them as they continue this crucial activity and are providing specific funding for coronavirus costs.”