Matt Hancock loophole lets you break ‘stay local’ instruction in England over Easter Weekend to visit beaches and beauty spots


The Easter Bank Holiday weekend begins tomorrow and many in England will be wanting to take advantage of the ‘Rule of Six’ and meet up with friends and family.

Others will be desperate to go to the beach, or visit local beauty spots, and reconnect with nature after being ordered to stay at home during three months of Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown.

From Monday March 29, people in England have been allowed to meet in groups of up to six people from any number of different households, or larger groups of people from just two households – but only in outdoor settings, including private gardens.

While the ‘stay at home’ requirement has now been dropped in England and Wales, it remains in place in Scotland and Ireland.

People in Wales are allowed to travel freely around Wales, in England people are still being instructed to ‘stay local’. But no guidelines have been issued to clarify what constitutes ‘local’.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he will be spending the day in Suffolk with his friends, which is potentially a two-hour drive away from his home in London.

On Monday, he told TV’s This Morning that people should aim to minimise travel, but could travel in England to see family and friends.

“We’re saying that you should minimise travel but if you want to travel to see friends and family then that is absolutely fine,” he said.

Therefore, if you are planning to meet your family or friends, which must be done outdoors, you can travel to a beach or beauty spot that is not local to do so.

However, cross border travel into Wales is still not allowed.

Today, Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said said he hopes to be able to lift travel restrictions in the country on April 12, when the ‘stay local’ instruction is set to be removed in England as part of Boris Johnson’s Road Map.

He told BBC Breakfast “At the moment, people in Wales can travel anywhere inside Wales but the instruction in England remains to remain local and people are not able to stay anywhere overnight.”

“The English road map says that that will change on April 12, and if it does change then we will change our arrangements so that people will be able to travel more freely in and out of Wales.”

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