The College of Policing have issued a statement — PDF here — saying that government guidelines cannot be enforced. This means that the government’s social distancing guidelines are not enforceable in England. They can try to harass you over it, but they cannot enforce it, so tell them to go away if they try. I suggest carrying the PDF around with you to show them if they try it on.
Wales is different, they say, social distancing can be enforced there, though only in public, not in workplaces.
The College admits that it cannot force you to wear face masks, or tell you not to use public transport.
Their advice stresses that people cannot leave their homes without a reasonable excuse, but the list of reasonable excuses has grown. You can now go outside for ‘recreation’, and meet up with one person from another household. You can go to garden centres, tips, and outdoor sports courts.
It says that gatherings of three or more people from different households are not permitted. However, I don’t see how they can enforce this. If you just ‘happen’ to run into various friends in a public space that’s a nice surprise for you all. If they insist you disperse, then disperse for a bit, then accidentally run into each other again a bit later. They cannot tell you to go home. They cannot tell you not to sit on a park bench. (Well, they might still tell you, but pull out the printout and politely remind them that they have no power over such things.)
You’re still not allowed to visit friend’s homes. However, you can if you are protecting a vulnerable person, or for medical purposes (ie. bringing an elderly relative some meds).
And, in case you didn’t notice, last week the government quietly allowed cleaners and nannies to be used again. If you suggest that this was allowed to suit them you’re very cynical.
Cynical people might also suggest hiring your friends as cleaners to clean your house for a small fee, which would allow them to come over. Cleaning is tiring, so they might need frequent rests and some coffee and tea and wine to keep them going.
Here are snips of the relevant PDF:
And page 2:
Thanks to the person who sent me this PDF (I’m assuming he wants anonymity).
Update: Got quite a few guest posts in the pipeline, and more graphs to go up soon, but I’m always looking for more submissions.