PM set to announce easing of Draconian lockdown rules

BORIS Johnson will this weekend announce the easing of some of the Draconian rules imposed under the six-week lockdown. The Prime Minster will give an address on national TV this Sunday evening, setting out steps to get the country up and running again. Ministers are currently discussing a number of options, including lifting restrictions on outdoor activity. This could mean country walks and family picnics allowed, and the 'once a day' exercise rule ditched. The 'Stay At Home' message looks like being scrapped and replaced wth a new slogan reinforcing the absolute need to maintain social distancing. Exercising in the countryside and social distancing have been a bone of contention in the Staffordshire Moorlands, with visitors from well outside the district travelling to the district's popular beauty spots. Places like Knypersley Pool, Tittesworth Water and The Roaches have posed a problem for local police faced with ensuring lockdown restrictions are obeyed by the public. Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, head of the Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing team, says: "I understand that for a lot of people there is some confusion about what they can and can't do when choosing to take their daily exercise during the current lockdown. "Recently a practical guide was produced by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and The College of Policing to give police officers guidance around what constitutes a reasonable excuse to leave the place where you live. "It should be remembered that each case will always need to be considered on its own merits, based upon individual facts. "The starting point for all our officers will always be to engage, explain and encourage, with enforcement only happening if and when necessary and appropriate." Maybe Sunday's announcement by the PM will give greater clarification as to what constitutes a "reasonable" distance to travel for recreation. With the lambing season in full swing and the increased threat of sheep worrying from irresponsible dog owners, who fail to keep their pets under control, local farmers would doubtless be pleased to see no visitors at all to their patch at this present time.


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