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What travel restrictions change from the 29th March?

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Jan Mayen

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I'm a unsure of what actually changes in Covid law/guidelines with respect to travel in England from 29th March.

I believe that all changes is the stay local guidence gets dropped, but travel by public transport should be essential journeys only, without defining what essential actually is in this context.

Is traveling for a day out regarded as essential?

Basically, I'd just like to start going places by public transport and would like to know if I'm breaking the law by doing so. Appreciate any thoughts or comments, please.
 
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Eyersey468

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I'm a unsure of what actually changes in Covid law/guidelines with respect to travel in England from 29th March.

I believe that all changes is the stay local guidence gets dropped, but travel by public transport should be essential journeys only, without defining what essential actually is in this context.

Is traveling for a day out regarded as essential?

Basically, I'd just like to start going places by public transport and would like to know if I'm breaking the law by doing so. Appreciate any thoughts or comments, please.
I don't think you will be breaking the law by having a ride out after 29th March as the stay local thing is guidance not written in law, and as a bus driver my view is it is not my job to decide whose travel is essential and whose isn't.
 

cuccir

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travel by public transport should be essential journeys only, without defining what essential actually is in this context.

This isn't quite the case. Current guidance on public transport is

You can continue using the public transport network if you need to travel for an exempt reason.

Outdoor exercise and recreation is an exempt reason. So right now, you can use public transport to travel somewhere for outside exercise and recreation ie for leisure, but legally you have to stay local; the guidance is that this means avoiding travelling out of your town/village/part of city unless you reasonably have to, but defining "reasonably have to" is a point of contestation!

On 29th March guidance to stay at home will also be dropped so there'll be no limit on how far you can travel and the exempt reasons element will go too, although you won't be able to stay overnight away from home. So while you'll still be asked to limit travel there'll be no legal basis for stopping people going anywhere on public transport for any reason, as long as you can return at home at night.
 

scrapy

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Whilst guidance says you should stay local now for exercise or recreation, I have yet to see any legislation to say you must stay local.
 

johnnychips

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Nobody seems to give a sod anyway. If you are really unlucky to be questioned by anybody, say you are going to look at a house!
 

Hadders

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Guidance is just that: guidance. It's the law that counts and I agree that there is nothing in the law that says you must stay local for exercise or recreation.
 

Kite159

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I guess it will become clear when the actual legislation gets published, but I strongly suspect any "stay local" & "reduce number of journeys you make" wording will be merely guidance. Similar to the December tier 2 guidance.
 

nlogax

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Fwiw I've already escaped a week early. I no longer care to wait. While typing this I'm taking random tubes and trains while getting some cross TfL zone exercise, probably up to about 10-15 miles from my front door. Utter bliss.
 

Cdd89

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Fwiw I've already escaped a week early. I no longer care to wait. While typing this I'm taking random tubes and trains while getting some cross TfL zone exercise, probably up to about 10-15 miles from my front door. Utter bliss.
Most people are doing worse. Maybe not in terms of travel but definitely in terms of indoor mixing.
 

Jamesrob637

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That's one thing I'm happy to wait a few more weeks for.

I live in a (marginally) damper part of the country than London so I'm just hoping that the few weeks leading up to the easing of restrictions on indoor mixing will be fairly dry and that I can meet up in groups outside and stay dry!
 

route101

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I've made a few non essential trips in last few weeks, max an hour away to Edinburgh. Not sure if looking after my sisters nieces was essential enough. Never been stopped, doubt you would ever get stopped if you used a bus. I did see two police officers at the top of Waverley steps, not sure if they were questioning people, I didn't put that to the test and went around down the ramp. I was going home, so not sure if they would of fined me!

Certainly from April I may start going out more often, I have plans to meet my pal for a walk.
 

birchesgreen

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I've been on trains a couple of times now over the last week, there is no "essential journeys" messaging (on WMR trains anyway) unlike last year.
 

Watershed

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The change will be that the current requirement to remain at home (unless you have a reasonable excuse) will cease.

It will likely be replaced with a requirement to stay at home overnight (unless you have a reasonable excuse).

Both are fairly unenforceable. But the guidance, messaging etc. may, as always, considerably differ from the legal position (as above).
 

317 forever

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I am about to take a chance on the idea that, as we can meet 1 friend outside, we can travel anywhere to meet this friend. The fact that we might have no actual friend at our chosen destination need make no difference. So, provided we respect genuine lockdown rules, eg no overnight stays and no visiting anyone indoors, we can now travel wherever we like.
 

Jamesrob637

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I am about to take a chance on the idea that, as we can meet 1 friend outside, we can travel anywhere to meet this friend. The fact that we might have no actual friend at our chosen destination need make no difference. So, provided we respect genuine lockdown rules, eg no overnight stays and no visiting anyone indoors, we can now travel wherever we like.

That's definitely the case from the 29th (but still overnight at your own place). Maybe, in hindsight, the procedure should have been as follows:

1st of March - 2 people from different households can meet outdoors. But stay extremely local (practically at home) and 'Stay at home' still applies.
15th of March - 'Stay at home' becomes 'Stay local' however you may still only meet as per two weeks prior.
29th of March - as per the road map.
 

317 forever

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That's definitely the case from the 29th (but still overnight at your own place). Maybe, in hindsight, the procedure should have been as follows:

1st of March - 2 people from different households can meet outdoors. But stay extremely local (practically at home) and 'Stay at home' still applies.
15th of March - 'Stay at home' becomes 'Stay local' however you may still only meet as per two weeks prior.
29th of March - as per the road map.
The paradox is that "Stay at home" remains in place even after we can meet 1 friend outside. Once we meet a friend outside, we are no longer staying at home.
 

Grumbler

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I will make my voice heard at the local elections in May. Unless there are candidates pledging to do all thry can to rnd the lockdown, I will spoil my ballot paper(s) with a suitable message so that the politicians know how I feel and why I am not voting for them.
 

chorleyjeff

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I will make my voice heard at the local elections in May. Unless there are candidates pledging to do all thry can to rnd the lockdown, I will spoil my ballot paper(s) with a suitable message so that the politicians know how I feel and why I am not voting for them.
Except the people seeking election will not read your message. But I agree your sentiment.
 

Hadders

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I am about to take a chance on the idea that, as we can meet 1 friend outside, we can travel anywhere to meet this friend. The fact that we might have no actual friend at our chosen destination need make no difference. So, provided we respect genuine lockdown rules, eg no overnight stays and no visiting anyone indoors, we can now travel wherever we like.
There is no legal restriction in England on the distance you can travel for exercise or recreation.
 

yorkie

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I'm a unsure of what actually changes in Covid law/guidelines with respect to travel in England from 29th March.

I believe that all changes is the stay local guidence gets dropped, but travel by public transport should be essential journeys only, without defining what essential actually is in this context.
There is no concept of "essential travel" as such, unless you simply define leaving home for a permitted reason as qualifying.

There is no differentiation between travel mode, nor has there ever been, nor could there ever be.

Is traveling for a day out regarded as essential?
You may travel for a permitted reason, for example that could be:
  • to bubble up with someone (if you and/or they are eligible);
  • for open air recreation, alone, or with your household or one other person
  • for exercise
From 29th March it is unclear how the legislation will change; for example they may modify the list of permitted reasons and the maximum numbers allowed in a gathering, or they may do what they did last May and drop the list of permitted reasons to leave home and instead replace it with an overnight stay ban (with a list of exemptions)

Basically, I'd just like to start going places by public transport and would like to know if I'm breaking the law by doing so. Appreciate any thoughts or comments, please.
What matters is whether you are leaving home for a permitted reason.

If you are permitted to do a particular activity, you may use any mode of transport.

If you are not permitted to do a particular activity, you may not use any mode of transport.

There is absolutely no distinction between transport mode whatsoever; anyone who claims otherwise is mistaken.

I've been on trains a couple of times now over the last week, there is no "essential journeys" messaging (on WMR trains anyway) unlike last year.
And that was merely guidance and not mandatory, as TfW confirmed in an FOI request
https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...ys-allowed-or-not.206316/page-19#post-4736862
...It was not our policy to enforce the types of journeys people were making on TfW services....
 

johnnychips

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One needs to remember that we are all ‘experts’ on this forum to some extent or we wouldn’t be reading it and contributing in the first place. Most people do not understand or know the rules in place anyway; they have changed so often. One of my workmates had an epiphany last week, when he said ‘hang on X I can work with you all day, but I’m not supposed to come and see you at your house at night or we aren’t supposed to go for a walk with another colleague. This is b*llocks. And we’ve been vaccinated and are tested twice a week.’ Needless to say, he now visits his friend when he wants and goes walking in groups of three or more.

I really think in cities, certainly, the rules are now perceived as optional (if people understood them anyway) and Boris isn’t following any data or science, just ‘legalising’ what people are doing anyway as they realise the rules to be pointless.
 

route101

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Please can you point to where that is said in law please?


They're only questioning people that have come to their attention for other reasons.
Right, I was wondering as someone may want to use the Sainsburys in Waverley Mall.
 

yorkie

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There is no legal requirement to stay local; it's just guidance.
 

221129

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Right, I was wondering as someone may want to use the Sainsburys in Waverley Mall.
My understanding is that they are using it to help enforce against people that are being a pain in the station (we have had a lot of issues with anti social behavior in the station) to make the stats look as though they are doing something without actually doing it.
 

HST43257

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the way I see it is:

29th March: Stay Local - travel allowed within police district (?)
12th April: All domestic travel allowed
17th May (subject to review): International travel allowed.
 
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