No 10 unable to say if sitting on park bench is against Covid rules

Downing Street couldn’t tell today if sitting on a park bench was against lockdown rules in England as confusion continued over strict new Covid restrictions.

A spokesman’s # 10 comments came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson signaled that stricter lockdown measures may be on the way.

But Downing Street didn’t seem sure what the current restrictions cover.

When asked if it is within the coronavirus rules for a single person to sit on a park bench, a No. 10 spokesman said to a Westminster briefing, “Let me take this away and come back to the question of … the park bench.”

Given the confusion about the Covid rules as to whether people are allowed to consume take-away tea or coffee in public, the spokesman said: “Snacks are allowed, or restaurants or cafes are allowed to offer take-away.

“People are allowed to leave their homes when it comes to exercise, not socializing.”

When asked if someone can sit on a park bench and have a coffee according to the applicable coronavirus regulations, the spokesman said: “We have clearly set the rules.

“We made it clear in the exception to the rule to stay at home: we allow one person to meet another person for sport.”

When asked if it is against the rules to go outside with a takeaway tea, the spokesman said, “Of course, going for a walk counts as exercise.”

During a visit to a vaccine center in Bristol, the Prime Minister urged people to be aware of their surroundings outside the home.

He said, “In supermarkets, people have to keep their distance, make sure they wear masks and do the right thing.

“We have to enforce the rules in supermarkets.

“When people get take-away drinks in cafes, they need to avoid spreading the disease there and avoid mixing too much.”

Mr Johnson stressed that “now is the time to be fully vigilant” in the face of increasing calls for stricter lockdown restrictions.


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