BRITS CAN legally get a takeaway coffee during lockdown, ministers have confirmed today.
Policing minister Kit Malthouse listed scenarios in which buying a takeaway coffee would be allowed, as he said people need to use their “common sense” when following lockdown rules.
Yesterday there was a huge row over whether it was OK to go to get a coffee during the lockdown – as it’s not considered essential.
Earlier this week two women were fined for taking cups of tea with them on a walk – which they drove five miles from their homes to get to.
The fines were yesterday withdrawn.
But Brits are allowed out to get food and drink – and shops selling takeaway food are allowed to continue to operate.
Government sources have said they have no plans to shut down coffee shops or restrict takeaway services at the moment – but it’s being looked at in Scotland.
Today Mr Malthouse told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “If you’re getting coffee on your way to do exercise, or as part of your acquiring food, or one of those reasons you’re allowed to be out of the house, then that is legitimate.
“This is one of those Scotch egg moments, where it’s very hard for us legislators to legislate for every single nuance of human behaviour.
“What we are relying on is people having a common sense of themselves of what they think is appropriate.”
Last night the PM’s spokesperson eventually confirmed it was allowed to pick up a coffee with a friend, but stressed that people should stay inside as much as possible during the nationwide shutdown.
They also said it was acceptable to rest on a bench during exercise, but it wasn’t allowed to leave home just to sit and chat with a friend in the park.
Two Brits are allowed to meet up outside for exercise, but it’s thought that some people are using that as an excuse to break lockdown rules and socialise.
This afternoon Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Jason Leitch also clarified that going for a coffee and sitting on a bench with a friend is not in the spirit of the restrictions.
However, they also added that going for a walk and picking up a coffee “in a safe way” is okay.
Boris Johnson warned yesterday he might have to toughen lockdown rules if the cases continue to stay high.
No decisions are expected to be made yet, however, as ministers want to see the impact of the national lockdown on the numbers.
Matt Hancock said yesterday he didn’t want people to take the mickey with the rules and try and stretch them.
He also said he didn’t want to have remove the loophole which allows two people to meet up for exercise outside – but he may have to if people continued to use it as an excuse to socialise.