Tougher Lockdown Being Considered With Mandatory Face Masks And Exercise Limits
Boris Johnson has spoken to senior ministers with regards to whether the current rules are having an impact - as over 50,000 cases confirmed on Sunday and 563 deaths.
It seems that the government is honing in on one exemption in particular which allows people to meet with one other person from outside their household. This is meant to be for exercise in a public space.
Speaking to the Daily Telegrap, a source said that the exemption is currently being used as 'an excuse for people to go for a coffee in the park with their friends,' adding: "It may be we tighten up on things like that."
It has also been mentioned that supermarket chains will be told to get tougher on customers social distancing and wearing face coverings.
Masks could also be introduced in busy outdoor areas like shop queues and even enclosed work spaces, such as offices.
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi spoke to Sky News about stricter rules, saying: "This virus loves social interaction, especially this new variant - so the worst thing you can do is socialise.
"We must make sure we only go out to exercise or necessary shopping - but stay at home."
He went on to add: "We don't want to go any tougher but we need people to behave so we can bring the virus under control while we vaccinate and hit that target mid-February.
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"These rules are not boundaries to be pushed against - they're to bring the virus under control and save lives. I know it's hard and we're all social animals."
This comes after a number of people have been issued fines when they're claiming to have just been 'sitting on a bench' or going for a walk with a mate.
Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore, both 27, were each given £200 fines for driving five miles to walk in a local nature spot.
The pair say they believed they were following the guidelines of staying local to exercise, with both of them only living ten minutes away.
They both travelled there separately and even say they parked their cars away from each other but they claim that officers took issue with their Starbucks coffee saying that it was classed as a picnic.
A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said: "The current guidance states that while you are able to exercise you should do so locally - defined as being within your village, town or city area.
"We of course understand that there may be valid reasons for travelling outside of these areas for exercise, however, driving to a location - where exercise could easily have been taken closer to a person's home - is clearly not in the spirit of the national effort to reduce our travel, reduce the possible spread of the disease and reduce the number of deaths.
"Each officer will use their professional judgement on a case-by-case basis, however, people should expect to be challenged and understand the clear reasons why they may be asked about their movements given the critical situation the NHS currently finds itself in."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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