The UK government has issued new guidelines for travelers to England as the Stay at Home order ends and restrictions on Covid-19 coronavirus lockdowns gradually ease.
Starting today, Monday March 29, the government will allow larger groups to meet outdoors – with the return of the rule of six and a new budget rule.
This means people can meet in groups of six outdoors – as can two households with larger numbers – as long as they continue to adhere to Covid guidelines and social distancing rules.
The stay at home order also ends – and has been replaced with new advice. The Department of Transportation says, “Today we hit a milestone on the government roadmap. You should minimize your travel if possible, but if you do have to travel make sure you do it safely.”
In the “Safer Tour Guide” updated on their website today, the government says, “You should continue to work from home and minimize the number of trips you take whenever possible.”
This means that you:
- Avoid unnecessary journeys
- Combine excursions where possible
You are not allowed to travel at all if you:
have been instructed by the NHS Test and Trace Service to self-isolate
are self-isolating or sharing a household or support bubble with someone with symptoms due to COVID-19 symptoms
symptoms of a coronavirus (COVID-19) occur
If you need to travel:
- where possible on foot or by bike
- You must avoid car sharing with anyone outside your household or support bubble unless your trip is taken for an exceptional reason
Plan ahead and avoid busy times and public transit routes. Follow the instructions to use public transport safely
You must wear face covering in public transport, unless otherwise exempted
Wash or disinfect your hands regularly
Whenever possible, stay 2 meters away from people you do not live with or 1 meter from any extra precautions (such as wearing face covering or increasing indoor ventilation).
If possible, download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel and check out where to see the official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters
“These restrictions only apply to England. The rules are different in the other UK countries,” added the government website.
In Wales, local residence restrictions were lifted on March 27th. Most of Scotland, with the exception of several islands, remains under the Stay at Home Regulation. Northern Ireland is still subject to a stay at home order. The regulations are due to be reviewed on April 15th.
Regarding how far people can travel in England and Wales, where the guidance is that everyone should minimize travel, the National Police Federation chairman said the new travel instructions are “guidance, not a rule”.
John Apter told Good Morning Britain today: “Guidelines are not legally enforceable.
“As a member of the public, we have a moral obligation to our fellow citizens, but it is not legally enforceable.”
GMB host Susanna Reid said: “Legally, there is no limit to the distance you can travel or the number of trips you can make.”