With the current Coronavirus restrictions and lockdown in place where do I stand going for a ride to get out of the house and to alleviate my boredom – I want to take advantage of the nice weather but don’t want plod arresting me!
Darren, by e-mail
The Government has given the police the power to restrict your right to move around. The rules are essentially the same across the UK, but each country has its own regulations which you can check at www.legislation.gov.uk for England, Wales and Scotland and www.health-ni.co.uk for Northern Ireland.
Police can enforce the two key social distancing rules, which ban leaving your home without reasonable excuse or being in a public gathering of more than two people.
If someone refuses to follow the regulations such as a request to go home, the police can issue an on-the-spot fine of £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days. If someone keeps breaking the law, more fines can be given, up to a maximum of £960.
A reasonable excuse which would avoid a fine would include going shopping for basic necessities being food, medicine and items essential for the home, exercise and travelling to and from work if it is absolutely necessary. The police can't order you to return home if you're out helping someone else with their care, off to the doctor, or carrying out another public service.
Cheshire Police confirms that it has summonsed someone to court for going out for a drive because they were "bored". Whether going for a ride to relieve the boredom of being stuck inside a reasonable excuse is yet to be tested in court should someone challenge the fine. Watch this space!