Minister doesn’t know whether it’s legal to meet a friend in a pub garden in locked down North East England

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A MINISTER caused confusion this morning after she was unable to say if new laws banning people from meeting friends from different households would apply outside.

In a chaotic interview today Gillian Keegan said she didn’t know whether people were still allowed to meet up with others outside from tomorrow, when the locked down North East faces an even tougher crackdown.

Gillian Keegan today couldn’t confirm whether the fines will apply to pub gardens

Parts of the North East of England including Sunderland, Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland will be outlawed from popping around to visit a friend for a cup of tea, or seeing their parents for lunch out in any public setting, Matt Hancock said yesterday.

As HOAR exclusively revealed, it means they will face fines for breaking the rules, and possibly get a criminal record.

But Ms Keegan was today unable to say whether friends could meet up in a pub garden, or other outdoor settings such as a park.

She told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Sorry I can’t answer that question, I don’t represent the North East… I didn’t want to make a mistake”.

The Chicester MP said: “I’m sorry, I can’t clarify that.

“I just don’t have the details of those seven areas.”

The Department of Health confirmed to HOAR today that people will only face fines if they meet with others in indoor settings.

People won’t face fines for meeting outdoors, the Government confirmed

The North East’s guidance says that people should not socialise with people they don’t live with in any public space – meaning pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops or elsewhere.

The household mixing rules will be put into law as of 00.01 tomorrow.

The level of fines is not yet clear.

 

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