What are you allowed to do under the updated lockdown laws - and what can the police do?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:28 02 June 2020

A police officer pictured patrolling Eaton park, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A police officer pictured patrolling Eaton park, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


With lockdown beginning to be eased new guidelines have been issued to police officers on how they can enforce the updated law.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has updated its guidance to officers on what people are - and aren’t - allowed to do under the relaxed lockdown.

Among the updates are new regulations over public gatherings - which allow up to six people to meet outdoors - and where exceptions lie for meetings indoors.

• What gatherings are permitted outside?

Under the relaxed regulations gatherings of no more than six people are permitted. The police define a gathering as “two or more people present together in the same place, intending to engage in any form of social interaction or to under take any other activity with each other”.

However, while groups can meet in sixes, members of different households must remain 2m apart from one another.

• What gatherings are permitted inside?

While people are permitted to meet one another in groups of six in open spaces, gatherings are still not allowed indoors. However there are the following exceptions:

- People attending funerals

- Elite athletes working with their coaches

- For work purposes or voluntary and charitable services

- Facilitating house moves

- Providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person, or emergency assistance

- Providing registered early years child care

- To avoid injury, illness, or to escape a risk of harm

- Facilitating access between parents and children

- Fulfilling legal obligations

- The purposes of education

• What do the police have powers to do?

When police officers encounter a breach of the regulations, they are to follow four Es - engage, explain, encourage and enforce.

Officers will ascertain who has gathered and for what reason, explain the reasons for social distancing measures and encourage groups to disperse if they are in breach.

However, if people are not compliant they then have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to those involved.

Police are allowed to offer direction, remove people or if absolutely necessary use force to break up unlawful gatherings in public places. In private places, officers can still direct a gathering to disperse.

Fixed penalty notices can be issued and arrests can be made.

• Can I stay anywhere else overnight?

As with previous stages of the lockdown, no person may stay overnight at any place other than their permanent address.

However, the same exceptions as indoor gatherings apply to this.

MORE: More than 350 people fined by Norfolk Constabulary for breaking lockdown rules

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