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There is a lockdown in the UK.

I'm a student living at Warwickshire. I planned a 2 day trip a long time ago to the south of England, and I will be travelling by car with my friend (only 1 friend).

With the current lockdown rules, will I be stopped and fined?

What are the possible consequences?

Update: I'm not going anywhere! Thanks for the answers!

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    "planned a 2 day trip a long time ago" that sound like the trip is not necessary. Stay at home! – JuanCa Mar 23 at 21:43
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    That seems like a pretty unambiguous NO to me. – Nate Eldredge Mar 23 at 21:44
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    Don't go on your trip unless it is absolutely essential for some reason. The lockdown is to protect you, your friend, and your community from bringing sars-cov-2 from place to place. – mlc Mar 23 at 21:44
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    @Mavzouleus: Doesn't matter. Read the PM's announcement again. – Nate Eldredge Mar 23 at 21:45
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    You shouldn't be considering if you are going to be fined. You should be considering if your presence outside will be dangerous to other people and the whole economy. You may be healthy now, but during your trip you can get sick and pass it to other people without even noticing. This people can pass it to their families and die. The people who is sick is not working, so they are not producing. You should consider if you want to kill people and make everyone poorer for the sake of your two day trip. – ordago Mar 24 at 8:33
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+200

I will be travelling by car with my friend (only 1 friend).

With the current lockdown rules, will I be stopped and fined?

From Coronavirus: Boris Johnson's address to the nation in full - BBC News

That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household;
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

That's all - these are the only reasons you should leave your home.

Since none of the above conditions are fullfilled, very likely.

What are the possible consequences?

A fine, the amount of which has not yet been announced.

The legislation can be viewed at:

"The Times" from 24th March suggest this will be from 30£ to 1000£ (third paragraph):

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ET08Dj0XsAEwZ16?format=jpg

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Willeke Mar 26 at 4:28
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With the current lockdown rules, will I be stopped and fined?

What are the possible consequences?

If you're lucky, you will be stopped, fined, and sent home.

If you're unlucky:

  • You get sick from COVID-19.
  • You pass on COVID-19 to (many) others, some of whom may die, and more who will have to go to a busy hospital.
  • You get fined or even have to go to jail (with the actual sentence possibly postponed until after the pandemic). Currently (2020-03-24) no jail in the UK, but things might move fast; in other countries it's already possible (e.g. in Germany it may be a Straftat to violate the rules in some cases rather than an Ordnungswidrigkeit — I don't know how Straftat or Ordnungswidrigkeit best translate to the English language or UK law, but literally Straftat means something like "punishable act"). That doesn't seem to be the case in the UK currently (BBC reports fines), but who knows how quickly this may change if fines appear ineffective? I am not a lawyer but I would not assume it will remain with just fines if those are shown to be ineffective and the situation is worsening daily.

Do not endanger the lives of others. Do not travel if you can avoid it.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Please head over to the chatroom to check what has been said already, you can then post your comment there as well. – Willeke Mar 24 at 14:23
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For your information... story dated 22:56 24 March:

Police have been stopping cars to make sure people are only making essential journeys.

It comes after Boris Johnson yesterday put the UK on lockdown, ordering Brits to remain in their homes unless they have a valid reason to go out.

He warned that police would issue fines to those found disobeying the new rules, and today officers have been on the streets making sure drivers do not flout them.

The four reasons you can now leave your home are:

shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible

one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household

any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home

Update 26 March: Police set up checkpoints to stop drivers during coronavirus pandemic

enter image description here

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  • What about moving? – Acccumulation Mar 25 at 20:59
  • No official guidance has been given whether or not house moves can still go ahead under the lockdown. However, Michael Gove said on Tuesday March 24 that people should postpone house moves if they could. The Homeowners Alliance has updated its website saying that all sales and purchases which have not yet exchanged should be postponed until after restrictions are lifted. Those who have exchanged are legally committed to completing the transaction, and should speak to their buyer/seller and conveyancer as soon as possible to decide how to proceed. – Michael Harvey Mar 25 at 21:20
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    Due to the extraordinary circumstances, many things that used to be "urgent" like bills and mortgage payments, have been suspended or massively reduced (interest only payments in some countries, for example, no utility shut off for x months, etc.). Right now, the risk of COVID-19 is death to many people. Unless you are at risk of death, take the time to figure out what you really need to do instead of assuming "it is urgent". – Nelson Mar 26 at 4:31
  • The UK police are using drones to photograph car number plates, and take action depending on the home address of the registered owner. – Michael Harvey Mar 26 at 20:15
  • Also detectives are on the streets. – Michael Harvey Mar 26 at 22:42
2

Since the question and most of the answers were written, what had been strong recommendations from the government have been turned into regulations with the force of law, in the form of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.

Of relevance to this question:

6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

There then follows a list of reasonable excuses, which includes things like shopping for food, exercise, seeking medical assistance, providing care or assistance, going to work if it's not practical to work from home, and the like.

A trip, presumably for leisure purposes - whether with members of your household, or with one friend, or on your own - is not on the list, so would not be allowed.

Anyone breaking the regulations can be fined. The fines start at £60 (reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days), and then double for each subsequent fine, up to a maximum of £960.

The regulations (at least in their current form) expire on 26 September 2020.

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1

The morally correct answer is obviously "don't do it".

On the other hand, there is little chance that anything or anyone will stop you, so long as you are following the general social distancing rules. UK policing strategy is generally "consensual" so there are unlikely to be any random "stop and search" checkpoints on your trip.

There is no shortage of fuel in the UK. In fact supermarkets have started a fuel price war, with price cuts of 20% or more.

Aside from the obvious infection risks, the biggest question to consider is what you plan to do during this trip, since only essential businesses (supermarkets, pharmacies, etc) are still open for business. Don't expect to find any "tourist activities" still operating.

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  • I thought about the logic of there being checkpoints and basically they would have to stop everyone who is going to work- i.e that would be hell of a lot of "stops and searches". So I assume there would be no such checkpoints – The Poor Jew Mar 24 at 10:58
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    @KateGregory There is enough misinformation on the web without you posting more here. If you want to comment about the current situation regarding working in the UK, first check your facts. There are many people aside from medical staff and supermarket employees who can't "work from home" who are still working and official statements request that they continue to do so. – alephzero Mar 25 at 19:51
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    I am not in the UK but in a country where they have about the same level of 'do not travel' and yes, I am reporting in at work every day. And many companies go on 'as much as possible' to avoid having to close down permanently. – Willeke Mar 25 at 20:03
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    "there is little chance that anything or anyone will stop you" Now wrong, it seems like as a matter of fact, in the UK bobbies are indeed aggressively, often, stopping people – Fattie Mar 26 at 11:19
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    @ThePoorJew - why the name change? – Michael Harvey Mar 26 at 22:48

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