Q1019: Can I go for shopping more than once per week during the Coronavirus emergency?
During the 'emergency period', a person must not leave or be outside of their home without reasonable excuse.
A reasonable excuse includes to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons. See Q1010 for those who are classed as vulnerable persons and Q1014 for a list of reasonable excuses.
Your home includes any garden, yard, passage, stair, garage, outhouse etc. – you can still go outside to access those areas of your property.
The legislation does not specify the number of times that you are allowed to leave your home for this purpose. As the rules have been put in place to ensure public safety, we recommend that you follow the Government advice and only go out when absolutely necessary, ensuring social distancing measures are followed. It is recommended that you:
Keep your distance from people outside your household
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, in shops)
The legislation states that you must not leave or be outside of your home without a reasonable excuse. Although obtaining basic necessities is permitted, what is 'reasonable' will ultimately be for an officer at the time to consider, based on your particular circumstances, if you are stopped. You will need to be able to justify why you needed to go out; going out for shopping several times per week may not be deemed reasonable.
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 rules is an offence and can result in a fine.