POLICE have been giving out warnings to people failing to wear face masks while visiting shops at Merry Hill.

Officers from Brierley Hill Police Station stepped up patrols and yesterday (Thursday November 18) gave out 30 direction to leave notices to people shopping at the mall without wearing a face mask.

They have been out urging people to ensure they follow the rules to help reduce the spread of coronavirus after cases in Dudley rocketed making the borough the area with the highest infection rate in the Midlands.

A spokesman for intu Merry Hill said: “Yesterday the local Brierley Hill police team visited intu Merry Hill as part of a wider operation at a number of locations across the West Midlands, ensuring members of the public are following the latest Government guidelines.

“We have a close working relationship with the police and we continue to do everything we can to make sure intu Merry Hill is a safe place to visit and work.

“The centre currently remains open for essential retail, collection services and takeaway only and we will continue to be here for our local community and visitors when they need us.”

Police officers said "the vast majority" of people have been adhering to the rules - although footage has emerged on Instagram of one man seen at the mall threatening to spit on officers and security guards as they approached him to highlight Covid-19 laws that call on people to wear masks while in shops.

The infection rate in Dudley currently stands at 568.7 cases per 100,000 people and the borough has recorded 1,829 in the last seven days, according to latest figures from Public Health England.