FULL LIST of “reasonable excuses” to leave home in connection with coronavirus shutdown


New guidelines have been released regarding purchases of “non-essential” items in supermarkets amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The government has decided to clarify the reasons why you left your home in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As police impose fines – more than 100 of which have been issued by West Midlands police – for those who flout the lockdown, the government has clarified its advice.

In it, they say that people will NOT be stopped in stores to walk the “non-essential” aisles. They also allow people to leave for necessities, basic items and even alcohol.

You can buy tools to fix a fence panel or any household equipment damaged by bad weather, but you CANNOT go out for DIY supplies “to decorate your kitchen”.

When it comes to exercise, sunbathing in parks is not allowed, but resting during an outdoor workout is allowed.

Police say the exercise “must involve some movement”.

Shopping – What you can do:

  • Buy several days of food, including luxury items and alcohol
  • Buy a small amount of a basic or necessary item (for example a newspaper, animal feed, a loaf of bread or a pint of milk)
  • Collect excess basic food from a friend
  • Purchase tools and supplies to repair a damaged weathering fence panel

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Retail BID Birmingham

Shopping – What you can’t do:

  • Police say it is unreasonable to go out for DIY supplies so that you can arrange your kitchen, for example.

Exercise – What is allowed:

  • Go running or biking, practicing yoga, walking in the countryside or in the city or attending a housing estate
  • Driving in the countryside and walking (where you spend a lot more time walking than driving)
  • Stop for rest or lunch during a long walk
  • In some circumstances, exercise more than once a day

Exercise – What is not allowed:

  • Driving for an extended period with only brief exercises
  • A short walk to a park bench, when the person remains seated for a much longer period

Other reasons to leave home – what you can do:

  • Go to the vet for essential treatment
  • Move to a friend’s address for several days to allow “cooling” after arguments at home
  • Provide support to vulnerable people.

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What you cannot do:

  • Visit a vet’s surgery in person to renew a prescription (where it could be done over the phone)
  • Visit a friend at their address or meet in public to socialize


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