The Police Have Issued New Coronavirus Rules And They’re Contradictory To Say The Least

After three weeks on lockdown already, the UK government has officially extended our time indoors – with the guidelines being reviewed on a three-weekly basis as the Coronavirus situation in the UK continues to change.

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It all seemed rather simple. Stay indoors, protect the NHS, save lives while doing so. The majority of the public (the sensible ones, that is) were staying home, all couped up and only leaving the house for absolute essentials, i.e. required groceries to avoid dying of starvation. Others, however, have been taking liberties with the rules, throwing house parties, having a lovely afternoon seated on a park bench, driving to beauty spots or meeting up with friends in supermarkets instead of social distancing.

Now, the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing have issued a list of official guidelines for both police and the public to follow. But after three weeks of following the government’s guidelines already, there’s something amiss about these new rules…

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The police’s new guidelines on shopping

  • You can visit the shops to buy your weekly grocery shop, including luxury items, or you can visit the shops to pick up your daily newspaper. You may not, however, purchase items such as paint to redecorate your house.

The government’s original guidelines on shopping

  • Only visit the shops if absolutely necessary (specifically for food and toiletries) and as little as possible.

Why is this contradictory?

The original government guidelines made it clear that we should only visit shops if absolutely essential, and to avoid unnecessary trips. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said on multiple occasions that we should visit as infrequently as possible, being sure to stock up for the following days to avoid repeat trips. Now, the police have said that you may visit the shops for non-essential reasons, such as picking up your daily newspaper. Not only that, the police are allowing the public to purchase ‘luxury’ items when shopping, but have banned us from purchasing items to make home improvements during lockdown.

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The police’s new guidelines on exercise

  • You may go outside for a run, cycle or to practise Yoga. Walks are permitted, as is visiting an allotment.
  • You may drive to the countryside to go for a walk.
  • You can also exercise more than once daily, and you are able to stop to rest or eat.
  • You may not sit on benches or be inactive outside for prolonged periods of time.

The government’s original guidelines on exercise

  • You may not drive somewhere to exercise and you must only take up one form of exercise, once daily. Dog walking is classed as a form of exercise.

Why is this contradictory?

There are a number of reasons that the police’s new guidelines open the gateway to people bending the rules. Not only have they allowed people to leave the house on multiple occasions, giving people the excuse to, but they’ve also allowed people to kick back and relax if the excuse is ‘they’re resting from exercise’ or ‘eating after exercise’. The new rules open it up for the public to have picnics in the park and use the time to sunbathe – something that was banned by the government just two weeks ago. Additionally, the new guidelines are a complete contradiction to the government’s initial rules that we issued just three weeks ago.

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The police’s new guidelines on ‘other reasons’

  • You may leave the house to take an animal for medical treatment.
  • You may leave the house if it is to help a vulnerable person.
  • You may move addresses (to a friend’s or relative’s) for “cooling-off” time, for example, after an argument at home.

The government’s original guidelines on ‘other reasons’

  • You must remain in one household only. Couples who are not living together should make the decision to either move in together during this period, or remain apart. You may not visit friends or family who are outside of your household.

Why is this contradictory?

The government allowed those who wanted to isolate together to move households at the beginning of the lockdown period, saying that any couples who do not live together already should make the decision to either move in with each other during lockdown or stay apart until the regulations are lifted, saying people should “test” their relationships. Now, the police have said that you can move households, contradicting the government’s pleas to stay in one household only. The police’s new guidelines open the door for the public to keep jumping from house to house, visit family for a few days, and potentially infect a number of people while they’re at it.

Read more: 1 In 10 Brits Are Fuming About Being Stuck With Their Partners During Lockdown

Author: The Yorkshireman

Founder and owner of The Yorkshireman - a regional publication that celebrates all things Yorkshire. Find me dawdling in the Dales or walking the dog on the Yorkshire coast.