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Coronavirus: This is what you can and can't do during lockdown

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A new, concise list of what is and is not acceptable to do during lockdown has been released - and confirms that buying luxury items and alcohol is allowed.

It comes as the government revealed yesterday that everyone in the country will need to stay home for another three weeks in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

As coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, new guidelines for lockdown have been revealed
As coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, new guidelines for lockdown have been revealed

The list, from the National Police Chief Council and the College of Policing is titled 'What constitutes a reasonable excuse to leave the place where you live'.

It breaks the reasons into four categories: necessities, exercise, work and other.

For shopping, it explains that food - including snacks and alcohol -, tools and pet supplies can all be bought during lockdown.

Takeaways are still acceptable, as is collecting food from a friend or relative.

The document states: "There is no need for all a person’s shopping to be basic food supplies; the purchase of snacks and luxuries is still permitted.

Police on patrol
Police on patrol

"If a person is already out of the address with good reason, then it would not be proportionate to prevent the person from buying non-essential items.

"Food could include hot food from takeaways.

"Obtain includes purchasing, but could include collecting or sharing items, provided this is genuine."

But while buying tools to fix a fence is considered reasonable, buying paint and brushes simply to redecorate a kitchen is not.

The new guidelines also confirm it is not OK to visit a friend's house or meet in a public place, but that it is OK to move in with a friend for a 'cooling off' period if you're having problems at home such as arguments.

It also confirms that police should not be asking people for ID if they're out and about to prove they are an essential worker or volunteer.

Queues outside a supermarket
Queues outside a supermarket

The three page document also confirms that it is acceptable to drive to a place for exercise, and that breaks are permitted but sitting on a park bench for a long period is not.

It explains: "Exercise can come in many forms, including walks.

"Exercise must involve some movement, but it is acceptable for a person to stop for a break in exercise.

"However, a very short period of ‘exercise’ to excuse a long period of inactivity may mean that the person is not engaged in ‘exercise’ but in fact something else."

The full list of reasonable excuses to leave home include:

  • Buying several days’ worth of food, including luxury items and alcohol
  • Buying a small amount of a staple item or necessity (eg, a newspaper, pet food, a loaf of bread or pint of milk)
  • Collecting surplus basic food items from a friend
  • Buying tools and supplies to repair a fence panel damaged in recent bad weather
  • Exercise, including: going for a run or cycle or practicing yoga.Walking in the countryside or in cities. Attending an allotment
  • Driving to countryside and walking (where far more time is spent walking than driving)
  • Stopping to rest or to eat lunch while on a long walk
  • Exercising more than once per day - the only relevant consideration is whether repeated exercise on the same day can be considered a ‘reasonable excuse’ for leaving home
  • A key worker or other essential worker travelling to work where it is not reasonably possible to work from home
  • A non-key worker or non-essential key worker travelling to work where it is not reasonably possible to work from home
  • A person delivering food packages to vulnerable people
  • Taking an animal for treatment
  • Moving to a friend’s address for several days to allow a ‘cooling-off’ following arguments at home
  • Providing support to vulnerable people

What is NOT considered a reasonable excuse to leave home:

  • Buying paint and brushes simply to redecorate a kitchen
  • Driving for a prolonged period with only brief exercise
  • A short walk to a park bench, when the person remains seated for a much longer period
  • A person who can work from home choosing to work in a local park
  • A person knocking on doors offering to do cash in hand work
  • Visiting a vet’s surgery in person to renew a prescription (where this could be done over the phone)
  • Visiting a friend in their address or meeting in public to socialise

To see the list, visit here.

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