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The actual legal Coronavirus restrictions

(17 Posts)
ShootsFruitAndLeaves Thu 26-Mar-20 20:17:07

Effective 1pm 26th March 2020 in England

4pm Wales

(1) During the emergency period, no person may
leave the place where they are living without
reasonable excuse.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse includes the need—
(a) to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons and supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household, or the household of a vulnerable person, or to obtain money, including from any business listed in Part 3 of Schedule 2;
(b)to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household;
(c)to seek medical assistance, including to access any of the services referred to in paragraph 37 or 38 of Schedule 2;
(d)to provide care or assistance, including relevant personal care within the meaning of paragraph 7(3B) of Schedule 4 to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006(3), to a vulnerable person, or to provide emergency assistance;
(e)to donate blood;
(f)to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living;
(g)to attend a funeral of—
(i)a member of the person’s household,
(ii)a close family member, or
(iii)if no-one within sub-paragraphs (i) or (ii) are attending, a friend;
(h)to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings;
(i)to access critical public services, including—
(i)childcare or educational facilities (where these are still available to a child in relation to whom that person is the parent, or has parental responsibility for, or care of the child);
(ii)social services;
(iii)services provided by the Department of Work and Pensions;
(iv)services provided to victims (such as victims of crime);
(j)in relation to children who do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents, to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children, and for the purposes of this paragraph, “parent” includes a person who is not a parent of the child, but who has parental responsibility for, or who has care of, the child;
(k)in the case of a minister of religion or worship leader, to go to their place of worship;
(l)to move house where reasonably necessary;
(m)to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.

Breach of this can be dealt with by fixed penalty of £60 (£30 if paid within 14 days), and doubling with each further fixed penalty to a maximum of £960, and with no payment discount.

There is therefore no legal limit on number or types or forms of exercise.

It does describe the items as "the need". However it could be argued that not all the things are strictly needs anyway. You could argue that if you went for a walk yesterday you don't 'need' one today.

But it seems to me more that you can leave the house to do exercise, and that's the end of that. You cannot leave the house to sunbathe in the park, say.

ShootsFruitAndLeaves Thu 26-Mar-20 20:18:12

Clearly one does not 'need' to attend a funeral any more than one 'needs' to do exercise, although at some point exercise is obviously a necessity if you don't want to die of preventable illnesses.

tegucigalpa13 Thu 26-Mar-20 20:38:36

These restrictions are only going to work if the majority of us buy into them - which I think we do.

Obviously they have been drafted in a rush and as a result they are full of loopholes
- exercise - some Cabinet Ministers and Police Officers as well as many on these boards have said that people can only go out once a day, that they must exercise near their own homes etc. Nothing in the legislation to support this.

- the phrase “ a reasonable excuse includes the need” followed by a list leaves open the possibility that it could include a lot more than that...Would it be reasonable to leave the house to take the dog to the vet for example? This is not listed but it would be a reasonable thing to do......You could also argue that it is “ reasonable” if you live in a flat with no outside space to go and sit in a quiet place in the park and read a book. You may feel you need the sunshine and fresh air for your mental health...

Surely the key point is that people should avoid situations where they come within 2 metres of others and risk transmitting or catching the virus..

BonnesVacances Thu 26-Mar-20 20:41:03

Why does it refer to the virus/disease as Covid-2?confused

AutumnRose1 Thu 26-Mar-20 20:45:21

The once a day thing needs clarifying

I’m in a small flat and if twice a day is allowed, I’d like to know. A neighbour is doing a walk and a bike ride as she’s also interpreted that twice a day is fine.

AutumnRose1 Thu 26-Mar-20 20:45:59

Vet is covered in point 2.

ShootsFruitAndLeaves Thu 26-Mar-20 20:53:01

@tegucigalpa13 I think the intention is that the list is largely complete. I don't think you are allowed to sit in the park even 2+ metres from others, even though people can sit in their gardens.

@AutumnRose1 I think you can take as much exercise as you need, so if you exercise your dog (as a member of your household) twice a day then that's perfectly fine. There is nothing in the law about 'once a day'

tegucigalpa13 Thu 26-Mar-20 20:56:39


Is it?
2a talks about getting supplies and DOES include pets - so you could be going out to get fish food or cat litter...
2c talks about seeking medical assistance but DOES NOT include pets..

tegucigalpa13 Thu 26-Mar-20 21:00:50


but if it does not say you cannot sit in the park doesn‘t English law assume that you can do it? Isn‘t that your point about walking the dog twice a day if you want?

ShootsFruitAndLeaves Thu 26-Mar-20 21:08:32

well @tegucigalpa13 I suppose you could say if you are leaving the house to get some exercise and then stop in the park then you haven't broken the law as the law is about your reason for leaving the house. But I'm not sure that would go down too well

2c includes pets

(c)to seek medical assistance, including to access any of the services referred to in paragraph 37 or 38 of Schedule 2;

37. Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.

38. Veterinary surgeons and pet shops.

There is a list there of the places you can go:

DIY shops, supermarkets, newsagents, food shops, pharmacies, petrol station, car repair, bicycle shop, taxi, vehicle hire, banks, post offices, funeral directors, launderettes, farming supplies, car parks and public toilets

1984isnow Thu 26-Mar-20 21:32:11

I'm unclear about something. My nan is partially sighted so isn't able to go for a walk alone, for example. She also has arthritis. I usually help her, take her out, bring her to mine a few times a week, or daily when I'm off work.

I'm not trying to find a 'loophole' , I'm just genuinely concerned for her health, both mentally and physically, if she is to stay in and alone for 6 months.

Is anyone else in the similar boat with a relative? What is advisable in the current situation?

AutumnRose1 Thu 26-Mar-20 22:32:37


I have a neighbour in a similar ish situation and he drives there, he’s planning to do it twice a week. Are you nearby? He gets her shopping add meds normally and she can’t go out alone so it’s effectively caring duties.

AutumnRose1 Thu 26-Mar-20 22:34:32

OP thank you

I don’t have a dog, are you thinking of that applying to dog walks specifically? A morning and evening walk/jog is my normal, depending on work times. Currently have no work though.

1984isnow Thu 26-Mar-20 22:52:20

Thank you autumn I will still be getting her shopping, and meds when they're due. It's more the exercise/stuck in the house element. She has never been alone, only since my grandad passed away, so I see her as much I can. I am a 15 minute drive away.

I was thinking about going for short walks with her atleast but then you're only aloud out with your own household.

I'd tried to convince her to move in with me a while ago, how I wish she'd listened sad

MasakaBuzz Thu 26-Mar-20 23:11:25

@1984 - I think this is where common sense applies. It’s perfectly reasonable to escort someone when they are out, if they wouldn’t be safe going out alone. It’s weighing up the impact on the health service of your Nan exercising with your help v not exercising at all.

I would continue to take her for her walks.

IronNeonClasp Thu 26-Mar-20 23:16:37

@ShootsFruitAndLeaves - thanks for the links flowers

1984isnow Thu 26-Mar-20 23:44:30

Thanks Masaka I think I am just seeing many calling for extreme rigidness or further lockdown, and it's all clouding my head a bit.

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