Q1013: Can I meet with other people when I go out during the Coronavirus emergency?
During the 'emergency period', no more than two people must gather together in a public place except -
- where all the persons in the gathering are members of the same household.
- where the gathering is essential for work purposes.
- to attend a funeral.
Also, where reasonably necessary -
- to facilitate a house move.
- to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person (see Q1010 for those who are classed as vulnerable persons).
- to provide emergency assistance.
- to participate in legal proceedings or fulfil a legal obligation.
The above rules should also be observed in relation to travelling in vehicles together in a public place.
In England from the 13th May 2020, the regulations permit persons to take exercise or visit a public open space (such as a public gardens or the countryside) for the purpose of open-air recreation to promote physical or mental health or emotional wellbeing, alone, with members of their households or with one member of another household. Although you may exercise with up to one person from outside your household – you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.
Whilst it is now possible to spend longer outside and spend time outdoors at a public open space with one person from outside your household, continued compliance with social distancing guidelines must continue. Although the Government guidance on social distancing does not form part of the law it is important that the measures are observed to ensure the safety of yourself and that of others. It is each individual's personal responsibility to adopt the principles of social distancing, wherever possible.
The guidance sets out principles to be followed, ensuring that any time spent outside of your home is as safe as possible:
Keep your distance from people outside your household
Keep your hands and face as clean as possible
Avoid being face to face with people from outside your household
Wash your clothes regularly
Wear a face covering in enclosed places where social distancing isn't possible
Wear a face covering in places where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet (such as on public transport or in shops)
Those persons deemed to be extremely vulnerable are still advised to remain at home as much as possible.
The 'emergency period began on 26th March 2020. An end date has not yet been specified, but this is being reviewed at least every 21 days.
Failing to comply with the above rules is an offence and can result in a fine.