SOUTH Yorkshire Police are putting in place "enhanced" resources and urging people to only call 999 in a real emergency as lockdown restrictions begin to ease on Saturday.
They are also asking those heading out this weekend to follow social distancing guidelines and take a face covering if using public transport.
On Saturday, restaurants and pubs are allowed to reopen for the first time since March.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson said the force expected an increase on demand on its 101 and 999 lines this weeken and hospitals were preparing for demand similar to that on New Year’s Eve.
Officers are also stressing that people think before they call 999, ahead of the expected surge in calls this weekend.
South Yorkshire Police's main contact centre at Atlas Court has already received an unprecedented amount of calls throughout the Covid-19 health crisis, the force said.
Supt Becs Horsall, temporary head of communications, said: "Obviously, this weekend is a significant milestone in the easing of lockdown restrictions, and people understandably want to go out and celebrate.
“Our call handlers are expecting to be busy, and we are likely to see demand similar to that of New Year’s Eve.
"Before you call us, please consider whether you really need a police response. Our call handlers do a fantastic job of offering advice and guidance, but local authorities and public transport providers will have useful information on their websites and social media channels which can probably answer a lot of general queries.”
Only call 999 in an emergency and 101 if you need a police response. Non-urgent crime reports relating to Covid-19 can be made online.