POLICE say they have been receiving reports of “large groups of people having barbecues on Clent Hills” despite strict government warnings – urging people to keep their distance from each other to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Lee Page, Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector for Bromsgrove and Redditch, took to Twitter to highlight the problem which comes on the day it was confirmed the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have both tested positive for deadly COVID-19.

Mr Page said of the situation: “This does not count as daily exercise. We will direct gatherings of three or more people to disperse. We are in the middle of a national health emergency.”

Reports of the gatherings come a day after police vowed to get tough on groups of people in Lye who have continued to congregate outside despite public pleas on loop for people to stay inside to give medics a chance of treating people who fall victim to the virus which was first detected in China in January and has since spread around the world.