Post by Ian Jackson Post by email@example.com Post by Maxwell Boltzmann
But AFAICS the laws passed the day before do *not* state that you can't
drive to a remote sport to have your walk. Not The Health Protection
(Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, anyway.
"During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they
are living without reasonable excuse."
It all depends whether driving (say) 50 miles to a place where there is
absolutely no chance whatsoever of meeting a single soul is considered
a 'reasonable excuse'.
You've been misled by Mel's disingenuous omission of the s.6(2) list of
exceptions to s.6(1). That list specifically includes as a 'reasonable
excuse' the need to take exercise. No mention of whether you choose to
drive to do this, or how far; just as there isn't with any of the eleven
other "reasonable excuses".
Post by Ian Jackson
As the police say, what happens if there's an incident or accident en
route, and this brings you into close contact with other people. Also,
what happens if you need to fill up with fuel? This is bound to entail
you handling the nozzle and trigger of the pump - an obvious way of
getting or passing on the infection.
These concerns are equally relevant to the eleven other reasonable
excuses, but nobody has suggested that they should be taken to apply to
them. No-one, for example, is suggesting that you can't go to your mum's
funeral if you have to drive there.
If parliament had wanted to restrict driving in this way it could have
done so when debating the SI. It didn't, and the government can't just
add ad hoc conditions to the legislation afterwards.
Of course it's possible to argue about what is and isn't "reasonable".
However, what we're arguing about on this sub-thread is specifically
what is and isn't forbidden by the law. That's what should concern the
police, who should be enforcing the law as it was made and not what they
wished it had been.
And this isn't only a matter for the people Mel calls "the awkward squad
who delight in playing up police officers". The more officious and
unnecessarily interfering the police are, the greater the risk that
ordinary people will openly disobey them, in some situations probably
leading to violent disorder.
I'd guess that some city areas must be getting close to civil
disobedience already, and it might take only one incident of police
officiousness or bullying to spark off a riot. And as we know, rioting
once begun can easily spread.