What is a "reasonable excuse" to go outside? And can the police force their way into your house if they suspect that the rules are being broken?
According to the rules in England, you can only leave your home if you have a "reasonable excuse". This is regulated by law.
The police can take action against you if you leave the house without a “reasonable apology” and impose a fine (permanent complaint).
You can get a fixed penalty of £ 200 for the first offense, which doubles to a maximum of £ 6,400 for further offenses.
A "reasonable apology" includes:
- Work – You can only leave home for work if it is inappropriate for you to do your work from home
- Volunteering – You can also leave home to do volunteer or community service
- Essential Activities – You can leave home to buy things in stores or get services. You can also leave home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person, or someone who is self-isolating
- Education and Childcare – You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children that you are eligible to attend.
- Meeting with Others and Care – You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble (if you are legally entitled to form one), to informally care for children under the age of 14 under a child care bubble (e.g. to To enable parents to work) to look after disabled or vulnerable people
- Exercise – You can continue to exercise alone, with someone else, or with your household or support bladder, limited to once a day and not outside of your area
- Medical Reasons – You can leave home for medical reasons, including a COVID-19 test for medical appointments and emergencies
- Harm and Compassionate Visits – You can leave the house to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness, or to avoid the risk of harm (such as domestic violence).
- You can also leave the house to visit someone who is dying, someone in a nursing home (if this is permitted under the guidance of the nursing home), a hospice or hospital, or to accompany them to a doctor's appointment
- Animal welfare reasons – You can leave your home for animal welfare reasons, e.g. B. To contact a veterinary service for advice or treatment
- Communal Worship and Life Events – You can leave your home to attend or attend a place of worship for communal worship, funeral or event related to a death, burial site or memorial garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony.
There are other reasonable excuses.
For example, you may leave your home to comply with legal obligations or to engage in activities related to buying, selling, renting or renting residential property, or when it is reasonable to vote in an election or referendum.
In Scotland, coronavirus legislation gives the police the power to force people into people's homes if these rules are violated.
In England, however, they can only enter under "exceptional circumstances" even if they believe someone inside is contagious.
Otherwise they need an arrest warrant.
Police today faced questions about whether they would take the crackdown on Covid too far as officers fined two friends £ 200 each for driving only five miles to walk a beauty spot – before they did claimed their cups of tea were illegal because they were counted as 'a picnic'.
Jessica Allen had arrived at Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire for a socially distant stroll with Eliza Moore – although it's not her closest park, just 10 minutes from her home – when they were surrounded by officers reading their rights.
Ms. Allen, a beautician from nearby Ashby-de-la-Zouch, said she assumed "someone was murdered" when she saw a police van, a police car and several officers at the entrance to the open space.
"It was a short journey and only took about ten minutes," she said. I really thought someone had been murdered or a child had disappeared. The place is usually so quiet.
“Next, my car is surrounded. I got out of my car and thought, "There's no way they're coming to talk to us." They question us immediately. One of them started reading my rights and I looked at my friend and thought, "This must be a joke."
I said we came in separate cars, even parked two spaces away, and even brought our own drinks. He said, "You can't do that as it's classified as a picnic."
Ms. Moore, who works as cabin crew for British Airways and runs a makeup business, said she was "stunned" at the time, did not challenge the police and gave her details so they could file a firm criminal complaint.
"Seeing just one policeman is pretty scary for some people, and we really didn't expect to be approached and to find out that we'd done anything wrong," she said.
"We don't want to get away with breaking the rule, but it seems a little unfair that you can be punished for something so vague."
The two were also told that their cups of Starbucks mint tea were not allowed because it was being classified as a picnic.
The guidelines for the current lockdown state that people can exercise "while they are close" but do not specify how far people can travel.
Derbyshire Police insisted that the distance was "at the discretion" of each officer and that the trip was "not in accordance with the rules".
The force, previously criticized for its persistent approach to enforcement, released drone footage of dog walkers in the Peak District in March to "shame" them.
And in March, the troop threw black dye into a famous blue lagoon in Harpur Hill, near Buxton, to prevent Instagrammers from posing for snaps during the lockdown.
It comes as police forces stepped up enforcement of Covid regulations across the country.
In Aberdeen, two police officers knocked on a family's front door following complaints from a neighbor and stormed in when a woman shouted "This is my house, get out of my house" and children screamed in the background.
Two women, ages 18 and 48, and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaulting police officers and threatening and abusive behavior.
The footage immediately sparked controversy. Critics accused police of "suppressive" behavior of storming into a private home – while others argued they were just trying to enforce the Covid rules.
Officials were seen in Euston this morning stopping passengers to ask where they were going. Barrister Alex Wright tweeted, "Good to see Lockdown being taken seriously, but a sad sight that I would have dreamed of seeing in London."
Snowdonia National Park has now closed all of its parking spaces to visitors to "protect our communities and the NHS" as officials beat up the public for "disobeying" the law.
To clarify the guidelines, Leicester City Council's Public Health Director Professor Ivan Browne urged residents today to "visit your next park, not your most beautiful park," Leicester Live reported.
Jessica Allen (left) and Eliza Moore were stopped by Derbyshire Police officers while they were enjoying a socially distant stroll at a Derbyshire beauty spot
Ms. Allen (left) and Ms. Moore (right) were taking a walk in Foremark Reservoir as they were surrounded by Derbyshire police, reading their rights and fined £ 200 each
Ms. Allen, a beautician from nearby Ashby-de-la-Zouch, said she assumed "someone was murdered" when she saw a police van, a police car and several officers at the entrance to the open space. This map shows the proximity between your home and the reservoir
All parking spaces in Snowdonia National Park are now closed to visitors. Pictured is a police car that was patrolling the beauty spot last night
The Met has vowed to stop warning people and punish them with fixed charges of £ 200 for initial violations, and these officials also stopped cars
Derbyshire Police turned away drivers at a vehicle checkpoint at Calke Abbey near Ticknall yesterday afternoon
Police and marshals from Covid are patrolling Bournemouth on the coast this morning looking to discover anyone breaking the rules
Euston police stopped passengers this morning to ask where they were going. Barrister Alex Wright tweeted, "Good to see Lockdown being taken seriously, but a sad sight that I would have dreamed of seeing in London."
Priti Patel said yesterday it was "right" for officials to confront Brits sitting on park benches, arguing that police should stop people and ask them to know why they are outside their homes.
It came when the police said they would punish people the first time if they were caught wearing no face covering or being outside for no appropriate reason.
As the crackdown continued –
- Officials in England and Wales have imposed more than 30,000 fines under the coronavirus law since the pandemic began
- Police Scotland has filed more than 7,000 criminal charges against those violating coronavirus rules and arrested 550 people.
- West Mercia police warned people of a Covid fine if caught playing in the snow.
- Police cars patrolled the market square in Ely this morning to make sure people were obeying the rules and the benches were taped off.
- Crewe police fined two maskless men who bought beer at 3 a.m. after claiming they knew nothing about the lockdown.
- In Nottinghamshire, 20 athletes were seen fleeing the World Physiques Gym after police raided the venue.
- In Rochester, Kent, a pub was stripped of its license and closed after repeated bans.
- A pub in Eastbourne was fined £ 1,000 after a punter was found hiding in the toilets after an illegal drinking lesson.
- The angry bar owner posted a sign on his bulletin board in the meetinghouse telling the villagers to leave after being reported to the police.
- Brits overseas were told they had five days to get home or they couldn't return without a negative Covid test.
- Boris Johnson promised to speed up Britain's vaccination campaign and deliver 200,000 doses a day with the army. The prime minister slammed Covid deniers and urged them to "grow up" while NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens criticized their "lies" about hospital emptiness.
- Mayor of London Sadiq Khan haDeclaring a "major incident" about the increase in Covid-19 cases in the capital's hospitals, s said: "The situation in London is critical now as the virus is spreading out of control."
After her confrontation with the police at the reservoir, Jessica Allen said she was taking the pandemic "very seriously" as her brother is a doctor who works in a Covid ward in London and her parents both had coronavirus.
She said she drove to the reservoir knowing it would be less crowded than near her home. "I'm self-employed, but my business is closed and I'm trying to fill my time," she said.
“I suffer from fear and when you walk by the water you feel so much better. I live alone five days a week and the only thing I can look forward to is planning a walk with my boyfriend. & # 39;
She said dealing with the law was "very intimidating" and made her fearful of the police.
What can the police do and what cannot they do to enforce the Covid rules?
Do I have to answer their questions if I am stopped by the police?
The police have the power to stop you in a public place and ask for your name, where you are going and what you are doing. This is known as "Stop and Account". In most cases, you don't have to stay with the officer or answer their questions.
The police also have the power to stop vehicles for any reason. Again, they may ask you to be accountable for yourself, but they generally cannot force you to stay or take further action against you unless they have good reason to do so.
However, if you refuse to answer the police's questions (e.g. about who you are meeting with) it could give rise to suspicion that you are breaking the new rules. This is because it is now a punishable offense to break the rules at the stage you are at.
What is Sane Force?
Under the new rules, the police can use reasonable force to remove you from a gathering if they believe you are gathering in a manner prohibited by the Animal Rules. You can only do this if it is necessary and proportionate.
You can also use appropriate force when resisting arrest or when there is a need to prevent a crime from being committed. These powers come from the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 (known as PACE). "Appropriate violence" means using only as much violence as you need in the circumstances. It has to be the minimum – nothing more.
Can i be arrested?
The police can arrest you if they have good reason to believe that you may have committed a crime – and that arrest is required.
What can I do if I think the police have acted unfairly?
If you are unhappy with the way the police treated you, you can file a complaint.
"I was so upset after that," she said. & # 39; The fact that they read my rights. I thought & # 39; Am I going to jail for a walk? & # 39;
"I'm not a criminal, but we were treated like we were criminals and I really felt for the people who were wrongly arrested and questioned by the police because it wasn't a nice situation to be here."
Derbyshire police said in a statement: “Driving to a location – where movement could easily have been brought closer to a person's home – is clearly not in the spirit of national efforts to reduce our travel to the possible spread of the disease to decrease and decrease the number of deaths.
"Each officer will use their professional judgment on a case-by-case basis. However, people should expect to be challenged and understand the clear reasons why they will be asked about their movements given the critical situation the NHS is currently in can."
"It is up to each civil servant to decide what is appropriate on a case-by-case basis, as the law does not prohibit removal."
The College of Policing said: "Overall, police officers across England and Wales will use their own discretion and professionalism to assess whether someone has a reasonable excuse for traveling to exercise and being outside of the place where they live."
Local MP Andrew Bridgen tweeted, “I am concerned that my constituents will face fines from the Derbyshire police for training in the area I have classified as local. It is important that common sense be used when enforcing guidelines, and a fine instead of issuing guidelines seems to be too zealous. & # 39;
It was a video that was taped in Aberdeen on Wednesday at 11:20 pm before it was shared online. It showed a police officer standing in the hallway of a house when a woman was being held back by another man.
She said: & # 39; My house. This is bullying. This is my house. Get out of my house. I didn't ask you here. & # 39;
In the video, a young boy can be seen when the woman's daughter said, "Just stop it, Mom".
A police spokesman said: "We received a complaint from a member of the public about a coronavirus violation at a property in Aberdeen on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at around 11:20 pm.
"Officials were in attendance and two women (ages 18 and 48) and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaults on police officers and threatened and abusive behavior and are being reported to the Fiscal Prosecutor."
Just hours after Home Secretary Priti Patel gave her support yesterday, it emerged that officials in Birmingham were interviewing a couple with a stroller to ask what shops they had in town.
In Ely, Cambridgeshire, disturbing images highlighting the harsh reality of Lockdown 3.0 showed that the seats in the city center were taped to prevent people from using them.
Snowdonia National Park yesterday decided to close its parking lots after the number of people violating Covid rules increased.
Five police officers surrounded a man at Hammersmith Tube Station in west London yesterday as part of a crackdown on people avoiding lockdown
A MailOnline reader posted a picture of these taped benches in Ely, Cambridgeshire, claiming they should not be used because of the pandemic
Two police officers knocked on a door in Aberdeen on Wednesday at 11:20 p.m. after a member of the public reported a coronavirus restriction violation
Covid Fines: How Many Have Been Issued in Your Region?
Here is the breakdown of the fines imposed by police forces in England between March 27th and December 20th for violating the coronavirus law.
– Avon and Somerset: 610
– Bedfordshire: 321
– British Traffic Police (BTP): 452
– Cambridgeshire: 280
– Cheshire: 440
– City of London: 86
– Cleveland: 313
– Cumbria: 941
– Derbyshire: 301
– Devon and Cornwall: 1,233
– Dorset: 1,010
– Durham: 253
– Essex: 505
– Gloucestershire: 279
– Greater Manchester: 2,183
– Hampshire: 567
– Hertfordshire: 380
– Humberside: 169
– Kent: 270
– Lancashire: 1,506
– Leicestershire: 618
– Lincolnshire: 367
– Merseyside: 1,411
– City Police: 1.761
– Ministry of Defense Police: 37
– Norfolk: 459
– North Yorkshire: 1,484
– Northamptonshire: 848
– Northumbria: 3,034
– Nottinghamshire: 906
– South Yorkshire: 673
– Staffordshire: 382
– Suffolk: 315
– Surrey: 573
– Sussex: 892
– Thames Valley: 965
– Warwickshire: 478
– West Mercia: 748
– West Midlands: 970
– West Yorkshire: 1,061
– Wiltshire: 208
Number of fines imposed by the police in Wales during the same period:
– BTP: 31
– Dyfed-Powys: 1,784
– Gwent: 295
– North Wales: 625
– South Wales: 856
The above numbers exceed the total of 32,329 in England and Wales for the period as some established criminal charges cover multiple violations and are therefore recorded more than once in the violent breakdown, the National Police Chiefs' Council said.
Officials said people could only participate in exercises that started and ended in their own home.
Nigel Harrison, temporary assistant police chief of North Wales, said, “We understand that people want to go outside to enjoy the mountains and snow. However, this is a national emergency and we will continue to work with our national park counterparts to ensure that the Welsh Government restrictions on essential travel are respected. & # 39;
The World Physiques Gym in Mansfield was searched by police on Monday. One person at the venue was fined £ 1,000 and another £ 200 for violating Covid's guidelines.
In Rochester, license officials forced the Hop and Rye pub to close after finding six people drinking during the second lockdown on November 28 last year.
Police spotted two maskless men in Crewe yesterday at 3am getting out of a taxi before going into a store and buying a case of beer.
When approached by Cheshire police officers, they said they were unaware of the lockdown and the way the coronavirus is spreading.
According to national lockdown rules, face masks must be worn in stores unless otherwise medically exempted.
A Cheshire police spokesman said: "Officers yesterday reported two men for violating lockdown rules.
Officers were patrolling Crewe at 3 a.m. when they spotted two men exiting a taxi with no face covering.
As they were leaving the store, officers approached the men to explain the lockdown policy, while reaffirming the importance of wearing face covers.
The men said they did not know there was a lockdown, nor did they know how their actions could lead to the transmission of the coronavirus to others.
"The officers told the men that they would each receive a fixed sentence (FPN) for their apparent violation of coronavirus rules."
Exercise and important travel are the only reasons people are allowed to leave their homes.
In Crowborough, East Sussex, the local running track was closed today due to a ban on sports facilities.
It came when a police officer was stopped by officers from his own force and asked where he would go during the coronavirus lockdown.
Insp Lee Wiggan was on his way to a meeting at his police headquarters on Wednesday when a police officer asked him to justify his movements. It comes when police said they would improve the approach to lockdown violations and fined £ 200 for anyone who goes out without a valid reason.
Insp Wiggan, who covers the Ladywood East area of Birmingham, was on his way to the meeting in the city center of the Lloyd House headquarters of the West Midlands Police.
It came when an angry pub owner posted a sign on the notice board of his meetinghouse telling villagers to run away after being reported to the police.
Keith Waterhouse, who owns Badger & # 39; s Holt in Bridgetown, Somerset, posted the note at Bridgetown Village Hall after police officers visited him after it was reported that he had violated Covid-19 rules the previous day .
The note read: “Whoever the nasty, vengeful guy who reports me to the police for a totally false breach of the Covid rules, has to speak to me first and find out the truth.
Meanwhile, in London yesterday, a man stopped outside Hammersmith tube station was asked to give his name and address, which officials noted and verified, and the reason for his trip. The man was allowed to enter the station and travel on, but refused to comment on whether he had been fined.
An official told MailOnline: "We are all over the region enforcing the laws of Covid and making sure people are not there for the right reasons. If you are not there or have no valid reason to be outside, you will be fined. & # 39;
However, the police officer announced that they did not impose a single fine because most of the people followed the rules. say, "I think the message is getting through that you should only be out for essential reasons."
Thames Valley Police apologized for the behavior of an officer they said was "a little keen" to hand out leaflets outside a Tesco in Maidenhead and asked the drivers, "Why are you here today?"
Derbyshire Police were previously criticized for their persistent approach to enforcing the restrictions. In March, officials brought black dye to the blue lagoon in Hupur Hill, Buxton to deter visitors
The Derbyshire Constabulary drone unit filmed controversial hikers in the Peak District as part of their stay at home message in March
In Birmingham, an exchange between two officers and a couple with a stroller walking downtown yesterday ended when the man pulled cash out of his pocket and told officers they were going to pay money at a bank.
The pedestrian, who did not want to be named, said, “I don't know why they chose us.
“They just asked why we were in the city center and when I explained the bank they left them at that. I think it's really just a matter of control. & # 39;
The same pair of police officers then interviewed two men languishing at a shop door and threatened one with a £ 250 fine if he did not leave.
Isaac, 33, who only gave his first name, said, “I have to come downtown to get my methadone from the Boots pharmacy.
“During the first lockdown, they gave us two weeks to prevent us from making so many trips, but this time they only give it for one day so we have to be back tomorrow.
"The officers were very fair because my friend is not really allowed to go downtown and could have received a £ 250 fine on the spot and not just a warning."
His friend Luke, 34, who also refused to give a surname, added, “Methadone is not something you would want to pick up near you, so I'm coming downtown.
& # 39; These officers were fair. They told us not to hang out and make our way home.
"Another officer would have taken a much tougher approach."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) NHS