Police urge 'caution and common sense' as Covid lockdown eases

People sunbathing in Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The easing of lockdown will see a return to the 'rule of six' - Credit: Archant

Police have urged people to continue minimising travel when new coronavirus regulations coming into force on Monday as part of the Government's roadmap for coming out of lockdown.

From tomorrow the ‘stay at home’ rule is being eased to ‘stay local’  and there is a return of the 'rule of six', meaning groups of up to six people, or two households, will be allowed to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

Some outdoor sports will also be permitted.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “With the ‘stay at home’ rule ending, it’s important people now adopt the mindset of asking themselves if their journey is necessary.

"With that in mind we are asking people to apply caution and common sense.

"There is no definition of ‘local’, so we would stress the guidance is to minimise travel.

"It's important to remember that this is guidance and not regulation, so we will not be able to enforce it.”

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A travel ban remains in place and people leaving England without a valid reason could face a fine.

The travel ban does not apply to those going to the common travel area of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.

Exemptions include travel for work, study, for legal obligations or to vote, if moving, selling or renting property, for childcare reasons or to be present at a birth, to visit a dying relative or close friend, to attend a funeral, get married or attend the wedding of a close relative, for medical appointments or to escape a risk of harm.

The next phase of the easing of lockdown comes in effect from April 12 and will allow non-essential shops to reopen, as well as businesses like hairdressers and hospitality venues serving customers outside. 

Step Three, from May 17, would allow groups of six to meet inside, and up to 30 people to meet outside.

Provisional data published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council showed a total of 94,368 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by police forces, including 85,975 in England and 8,393 in Wales, between March 27 last year and March 14 2021.

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