After the statement released by Boris Johnson yesterday, there is growing confusion amongst the UK public about what is and is not allowed.
There was such a kerfuffle after the update on Sunday evening, that Dominic Raab was dragged onto Breakfast TV on Monday morning to provide further information – which only led to further confusion.
After reading through the detail of the statement, We have decided to answer questions sent in by our avid readers. This is our way to help you to decipher the new lockdown rules in the UK and to assist those who may still be confused.
(Those without a sense of humour may need to click away now – and please do not follow anything written in this article!!!)
Question – Can I now visit garden Centres?
Answer – You have always been able to visit Garden Centres, but if you have been to one recently you may have found the doors closed. in fact, if you go today, the doors will still be closed. You may go on Wednesday and find the doors open, but no-one is really sure as Boris forgot to mention garden centres.
Question – May I now go to the beach?
Answer – Yes, you are allowed to sunbathe, even if the weather is now colder than winter. You must still maintain 2 metres self-distancing rules, unless there is someone on a sunbed near you. Then you may need to keep 4 metres between you and the next sunbed, because if someone walks between you, they may need to keep 2 metres each side of them. If the person walking between has someone else next to them, you may need to measure the width of the person and then double it, before adding to the space between you and the next sunbather. Also, most Kent beaches have been taken over by migrants, so best leave them to it.
Question – Do I have to go back to work now?
Answer – It depends on your employer. You may be able to work from home, but if you have 7 children who all like to stream video from YouTube all day long, then you have no hope of getting any sort of decent bandwidth. If you are furloughed, then you can still enjoy your extended holiday for as long as you can. Try to avoid any telephone calls, in case it is your boss telling you to return to work.
Question – Can I use public transport to go to work?
Answer – You may use public transport, as long as you maintain the 2 metre distancing rule. Therefore, if you are on a bus or train and someone else gets on, you may need to disembark immediately. You may have to follow this procedure for the duration of your journey. If you get to work before 5pm, you have done well. Repeat on the way home!
Question – Is it better to walk or cycle to work?
Answer – Boris has reassured the public by suggesting that it is safer to avoid public transport and find an alternative way to get to work. Obviously, cycling is quicker than walking. If your office is more than 25 miles away, you should have been doing more cycling practice during your time off. If you are still unfit, it is your fault for sitting in front of the TV working your way through those boxsets.
Question – Can I sit in the sun in my local park?
Answer – No, have you not seen the weather today? You may sit in your local park but Boris has carefully waited for the coldest week in ages before allowing you go to out and sit somewhere – you have no chance of seeing any sun for the next few days. If you see people from another household, you may only spend time with one person, so choose your favourite and hope they you are also their favourite person.
Question – Can I play football in my local park?
Answer – Yes, but only with members of your household. If your mum is no good as a striker, then sorry, but she will have to go in goal. If you live on your own, then you are only allowed to play ‘keepie-uppie’.
Question – Can I fly a drone in my local park?
Answer – No, it is far too windy. You will have a good chance of losing it, so best not risk it.
Question – Am I allowed to drive somewhere for leisure?
Answer – Yes you are allowed to drive as far as you wish, but you still need to keep away from everyone else. If you get lost, you must not wind down your window and ask for directions, unless you can shout loudly. But according to the Government, you are not allowed to visit Wales or Scotland!
Question – Do I have to return to the office?
Answer – You only have to return to the office if it is a safe environment. If you are unsure if it is safe, take plenty of marbles and leave them scattered all over the floor ad near the staircase. You will now be able to leave the office and return home. If you do spend the day in the office, you are still unable to go and sit in the garden with them after work, unless you restrict it only to your favourite colleague.
Question – I’m an employer. How do I encourage staff to return to work?
Answer – Try biscuits or cake. People love a slice of cake, especially if it has icing on the top. Also, carrot cake counts as one of your 5 a day.
Question – Can I enjoy a picnic outside?
Answer – You can have a picnic, but you will not enjoy it. No-one likes to eat food outside, where there is a chance to get a mouthful of wasp, or have a sea-gull steal your sausage roll. Our advice is – Eat food inside – Stop sea-gulls getting fat.
Question – Should I wear a face mask outside?
Answer – This really depends on if you still insist on having that picnic. If you do have a picnic whilst wearing a mask, expect to get egg mayonnaise all over the outside of your mask, which is going to start smelling really bad after a few hours.
Question – Am I allowed to go jousting?
Answer – You are allowed to go jousting as long as your horse remains more than 2 metres from your opponent, so you can enjoy thwacking someone with your jousting pole. However, any jousting tournament must take place behind closed doors, so it could prove a challenge for anyone living in a one bedroom studio apartment.
Question – I am a driving instructor. Can I return to work?
Answer – You can return to your ‘office space’ if it is a safe space. Your passenger seat needs to be more than 2 metres away from the driving seat. For anyone who does not drive an old American car, current advice is to attach another seat to your roof rack where you can instruct from. Please avoid any low bridges.
Question – Can I visit my teenage boyfriend/girlfriend?
Answer – You can see your boyfriend/girlfriend as long as you maintain the 2 metre distancing rules to ensure there is no physical contact. We can see this rule being extended well past the pandemic phase, thanks to some very ‘protective’ parents.
Question – If I come back to the UK from abroad, do I need to quarantine for 14 days?
Answer – You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, unless you are French. The French are immune to COVID so are allowed to fly in to London and stroll right through immigration and go about their business. Anyone else will need to sign a form to say they will stay indoors for 14 days, but once you have handed it in, no-one will check, so you can go and join the French people already looking at the sights of London.
Question – Boris said to ‘Stay Alert’. What should I do?
Answer – Make sure you don’t blink. The virus is invisible, so you could treat yourself to some heat-vision glasses, which may or may not help you see if someone has a temperature. When outside, only sit near one person, who is at least 2 metres away. If there is another person next to the first person you are seeing, they could potentially get in your eye-line and prevent you from staying alert. At least the PM did not suggest ‘drinking bleach’!