UK Govt Mulls Ban on Britons Leaving the House More than Once Per Week: Report

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: A protester is arrested by Police on Clapham Common during the anti-lockdown demonstration on January 9, 2021 in London, England. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has filmed an advert for HM Government warning that people should stay home as the COVID-19 virus is spreading across …
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering enforcing even more stringent measures during England’s third lockdown, including banning Britons from leaving their homes more than once a week.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Johnson announced the third lockdown with stay-at-home orders, which could legally last until March 31st.

The government is now considering putting Britons under effective house arrest, with sources speaking to the Mail Online saying that unless people strictly follow the rules, Boris may ban people leaving their homes more than once a week.

Currently, Britons may exercise once a day with either a friend, others in their house, or with their support bubble. They may also go out for other ‘essential’ purposes such as food shopping or to receive healthcare.

Separately, sources also told The Telegraph on Monday that the Cabinet was considering harsher lockdown restrictions, including banning households from exercising together and forcing office workers to wear masks.

The Times reports sources saying that the government may also legally make supermarkets — one of the few places left where people can interact indoors — to enforce mask-wearing, social distancing, and one-way systems. Shoppers may also be forced to wear masks while they are lining up outside supermarkets, which could also be ordered to strictly control the number of people going in.

Vaccine Minister Nadim Zahawi admitted that rules could be tightened, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “We don’t want to use tougher measures, the lockdown is tough, schools are shut, but it is important to remember this virus loves social interactions.”

Adding: “The exemption is in place for two people to walk, to exercise together. We don’t want to go tougher — but we review everything.”

The Cabinet held a COVID meeting on Sunday after allegedly being alarmed at the number of Britons enjoying the fresh air in parks and by the seaside, rather than staying locked up in their houses.

One government source told The Telegraph that the government was considering banning two people from different households meeting up for excise because it was “being used as an excuse for people to go for a coffee in the park with their friends”, with the source stating: “It may be we tighten up on things like that.”

The remarks would appear to be a direct reference to the case last week of two women in Derbyshire who drove separately five miles to a local nature reserve to go for a walk with each other while drinking coffees to keep warm. One woman described that before either she or her friend got out of their cars, they were surrounded by police officers and read their rights. They were effectively told they had strayed too far from home to take exercise and were each fined £200. Police also told them that their hot drinks were not allowed because it “counted as a picnic”.

The story garnered widespread attention, but government ministers doubled down in the support for draconian policing methods.

When confronted with the story on Sky News on Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed the police had been doing “an absolutely brilliant job” and said of that case, “I am absolutely going to back the police,” claiming that “every” alleged “flex” of harsh rules “can be fatal”.

In another extraordinary case, one woman was arrested after police found her sitting on a bench near the seaside.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also articulated her unwavering support for police authoritarianism, saying on Saturday: “Enforcing these rules saves lives. It is as simple as that. Officers will continue to engage with the public across the country and will not hesitate to take action when necessary.”

Brexit chief and Reform Party UK leader Nigel Farage said of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s remarks: “Please get tough on illegal immigration instead of threatening people for sitting on a park bench.”

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