ANYONE thinking of going for a relaxing Sunday drive should think twice during the coronavirus lockdown.
While there are no rules banning anyone from driving their car, you may be asked to provide a valid reason for your journey if stopped by police.
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What happens if I am stopped by police in my car?
There are no rules banning anybody from driving their car during this time, though you could face a fine if you are unable to prove your journey is for essential reasons.
If you cannot provide the police with a valid travel reason, you could be issued with a £60 spot fine, reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks.
The fine will double to £120 for a second offence.
How are police enforcing the laws?
Some police in Durham and North Yorkshire have even begun roadside checks of some drivers, questioning their reasons for being out.
Road blocks have also been set up in Plymouth, Devon and in Cornwall, while across the country police have started using checkpoints to stop vehicles and ask drivers if their journey is essential.
Police in Derbyshire have even been using aerial drones to catch drivers heading to the Peak District for the sunset.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have urged the public to stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible", and not to travel "unnecessarily".
If you are a key worker, you will also be allowed to drive your child to school in addition to commuting.
For what reasons am I allowed to drive?
As long as people are only driving for one of these four reasons, they're allowed to be on the roads:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- one form of exercise a day – (a run, walk, or cycle) – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and this cannot be done from home
Johnson said: “You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home.
“You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
How long will this lockdown last?
Johnson announced that these measures are in place for three weeks and they will be reviewed afterwards.
The length of the lockdown will depend on how the UK responds to the measures.
If coronavirus cases and deaths drop, the lockdown measures could be lifted when next reviewed.
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