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Redecorating the house and working in the park – here’s what else you shouldn’t do during the coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 April 2020

Acting Sergeant Ben Towns and Sergeant Dave Hammatt on patrol in Christchurch Park  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Acting Sergeant Ben Towns and Sergeant Dave Hammatt on patrol in Christchurch Park Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Fresh guidance has been issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Buying paint and brushes for redecorating is not allowed, according to latest police guidance. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTOBuying paint and brushes for redecorating is not allowed, according to latest police guidance. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

And homes are being warned that nipping out to buy paint for decorating and working on a park bench instead of at home are not reasonable.

MORE: Follow the latest updates on the Suffolk Coronavirus Facebook page

The College of Policing and National Police Chiefs’ Council this week published additional guidance handed to them by the CPS on top of the already well-drilled government rules which only allow people to leave the house for the following – exercise; buying groceries or medication; buying medication or groceries for the vulnerable; or travelling to work where home-working is not possible.

Summarised below are the key points considered likely and unlikely to be reasonable that have been released into the public domain:

Using benches in parks for brief periods of rest is okay, but prolonged use is now allowed say police. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNUsing benches in parks for brief periods of rest is okay, but prolonged use is now allowed say police. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Food

• You can buy several days’ worth of food when you go out shopping

• Luxury items like alcohol and chocolate are allowed in your shopping basket

• You can collect surplus basic food from friends

Police are frequently patrolling the town centre    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPolice are frequently patrolling the town centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

• You can collect hot food from takeaways, although many are delivering instead

The CPS said: “There is no need for all a person’s shopping to be basic food supplies; the purchase of snacks and luxuries is still permitted.

“If a person is already out of the address with good reason, then it would not be proportionate to prevent the person from buying non-essential items.”

MORE: GP appointments and prescriptions during coronavirus – what you need to know



DIY

• Buying tools and supplies for necessary repairs, such as damaged fences or plumbing is allowed

• Buying paint and brushes for redecoration work is not considered reasonable

The key here is that maintenance and upkeep is okay, but people should not be carrying out renovations and improvements.

Suffolk Constabulary chief constable Steve Jupp said police involvement had been balanced to date. Picture: RACHEL EDGESuffolk Constabulary chief constable Steve Jupp said police involvement had been balanced to date. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Exercise

• You are allowed to stop and rest while on a long walk, but prolonged periods seated on a park bench are not encouraged

• You can drive to somewhere such as a country park for exercise, but driving for a prolonged period for short exercise is not acceptable

While driving to somewhere for exercise is deemed lawful, it is understood that, where possible, people should ideally be undertaking exercise which involves their nearest park or the most sensible option.

People should still observe social distancing measures when they were outside their homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople should still observe social distancing measures when they were outside their homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

MORE: What to do with your rubbish if you are self-isolating



Work

• Travel is allowed for non-key workers who cannot work from home

• Delivering food packages to vulnerable or isolating people is acceptable

• Knocking on doors offering cash-in-hand work is not likely to be considered acceptable

Lockdown in Ipswich - a closed playground in Alderman Park Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLockdown in Ipswich - a closed playground in Alderman Park Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

• People should not be working in the park instead of their homes

Other reasons

• Taking a pet to a vet for treatment is allowed, but things such as renewing a prescription for a pet should be done over the phone or email where possible

Lockdown has seen footfall drop dramatically in Ipswich town centre  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLockdown has seen footfall drop dramatically in Ipswich town centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

• People can move to a friend’s home for a couple of days as a “cooling off” period after an argument at home. Domestic abuse victims moving out of a property where they do not feel safe is acceptable

• Providing support for vulnerable people is reasonable, but visiting people at their home or in public to socialise is not

MORE: ‘Incredible’ carers hailed for efforts during Covid-19 crisis



Suffolk police has re-iterated its pleas for people to observe social distancing measures, and to stay at home except for essential travel this weekend.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We would urge the public to continue to adhere to the government instructions to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS.

“We understand these are difficult times for all concerned but it is vital this continues to be followed.

“We are very grateful for the vast majority of the public sticking to the restrictions and appreciate their on-going support.”

Officers in Suffolk had handed out 95 fines for those flouting social distancing and coronavirus rules as of Wednesday with chief constable Steve Jupp saying: “I think we are taking a really balanced, proportionate approach to tackling those who are not following the guidelines.

“We always look to engage with those breaking the rules and explain and advise them on what they should be doing.

“But, as a last resort, we are willing to hand out these fines.”

To stay up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 updates in Suffolk, sign up to the EADT newsletter here or bookmark the EADT Coronavirus topic page.


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