With coronavirus lockdown extended for another three weeks at least, the police have released a set of published guidelines on when we can and can’t leave the house.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson originally told the public that the only reasons to go out were for daily exercise, for essential food shopping (as infrequently as possible), for medical reasons or if somebody couldn’t feasibly work from home.
Now, the police have further elaborated the do’s and don’ts, to make things crystal clear.
In the three page document, entitled “what constitutes a reasonable excuse to leave the place where you live,” the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing have told us exactly what rules to follow when we go out to exercise, shop and head to work.
The key rule when it comes to shopping is to only head out infrequently, and for essential trips.
The police say we are allowed to head out to buy several days’ worth of food in one go, including luxury items such as alcohol. So, basically, you won’t be stopped for heading down “non-essential” aisles if you’re doing a big shop.
We are also permitted to head out to buy a small amount of a staple item, be it pet food, bread or milk, or to collect surplus basic food items from a friend.
Plus, if we need to head out to buy tools to repair a fence that has been affected by bad weather, for instance, the guidelines allow it.
Leaving the house to buy paint or brushes for non essential DIY is not allowed under the new guidelines.
If it’s not a necessity, don’t do it, folks!
When it comes to exercise, you’re allowed to go for a run or cycle outside. Plus you’re also allowed to go for a walk in either the city or countryside, and practice yoga.
Attending to an allotment is also legal, the document says.
Plus – in a clarification that may surprise many – the guidelines allow driving to the countryside for a walk, so long as the majority of your designated time is spent walking as supposed to driving.
As for the much debated topic of sitting down outside? The police confirm that this is allowed when stopping for an exercise break or eating lunch, only.
Sunbathing for long periods in the park is not permitted.
The exercise guidelines make clear that any trip out where you spend the majority of your time sat down and resting is not allowed (e.g. a short walk to a park bench, where you then sit for an hour).
Driving for a prolonged period with only a brief stint of exercise at the end is also not permitted.
When it comes to working, the guidelines are largely as we know them.
Key workers or other essential workers are allowed to travel to work if it is not reasonably possible for them to work from home.
Some non-key workers are also allowed to travel to work (should their employer ask them to, or if they cannot work from home).
You are allowed to deliver food packages to the vulnerable
You must not work in local parks or public spaces if you’re permitted to work from home.
Plus, you must not knock on doors and offer to do cash-in-hand jobs
Other reasons to go out
Besides the above, there are some other key reasons you can leave the house, in extreme circumstances.
You can move to a friend’s address if you need to “cool off” following an argument at home – although this must be for a matter of days rather than hours.
You can provide support to vulnerable people.
Plus, you can go to the vet if your pet needs essential treatment.
As the PM confirmed, heading out for your own medical reasons is also allowed.
You must not visit a vet’s surgery in person to renew a prescription if this can be done over the phone.
You must not visit a friend at their address or in public for the purpose of socialising.
News sourced from: Tyla