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Non-Essential Travel - What and Why?

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With the Easter weekend coming up, I'm just wondering; who understands what non-essential travel is and the reasons we need to follow this rule? What's your view on this? I think there too many people in this country who just don't get it as opposed to deliberately flouting the rules.

Dennab
2 months ago
What do you think of this?
Ann1984
Ann19842 months ago

The rule is just sit on your butt and don’t go out it can’t be made any easier

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Lynibis
Lynibis2 months ago

This is how I see it: It is pretty clear what non essential travel is, but many people wonder why they cannot travel if they take all precautions. E.g. I am wondering why I cannot go to visit my son and his family in my own car alone, 10 minutes away. We have all been isolated and obeying the rules for nearly 3 weeks so like me lots of people may feel it is ok. But, I abide by rules so will not flout them.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

Lynibis A lot of people are thinking that way so you're not alone and it's the reason I started this topic. However, you're failing to look at the bigger picture. If you head out in the car, you could crash or break down. The majority of collisions happen on familiar roads. The more people on the roads, the more likely there will be an incident. Now what happens? Emergency services with limited resources have to spend their time dealing with it. People will naturally come into contact with each other too. Both of those things need to be prevented.

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Lynibis
Lynibis2 months ago

Dennab yes I definitely can see that. I think what government fails to see is that there are many people who do not have the intelligence to work out these things for themselves. They need it spelled out in large letters so to speak. The tv ads do not go far enough and that would have been one of the easiest things they could have done. Regular plain, simple, to the point broadcasts, but no, they expect everyone to have the same power to understand as the boys clubs they all attended. Unless they are not telling us something I am not sure why I need to continue washing my hands to the point of soreness if I am indoors, in quarantine alone. If I have no contact I am surely safe and if I am carrying it is too late anyway. Obviously I do so when picking up mail, handling shopping etc.

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ukheather
ukheather2 months ago

The rule doesn’t just stop as it’s Easter or a weekend. Stay indoors Is simple but so many don't care even though they could pass it in to others at high risk who can die.

Too many don’t seem to care and it’s disgusting

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Dani1
Dani12 months ago

I know it's difficult as we all would love to see our families and friends especially at this time. The best way to look at is that we are households and not families where the spread of this virus is concerned. It's hard but it's for the best. Only travel to work, for food or for medical reasons. Stay safe at home if you can x

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Ann1984
Ann19842 months ago

Image

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

Ann1984 Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela... People need to get some perspective.

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Johnny
Johnny2 months ago

Essential Travel is:

Leaving your primary residence (your flat or house) for very limited purposes, including:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household (including walking your dog)
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

Non Essential Travel is:

Any form of travel not listed above (there will be limited exceptions of course, but people should use their common sense)

The reason for the restriction is very simple. It is to suppress the spread of the virus during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The virus spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. If people come within two metres of each other they risk contracting the virus from each other via droplets in the air. You can also pick up the virus from things you touch as it can survive on many surfaces for up to 72 hours.

It’s very important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell. So you may think your friend, neighbour or relative is safe to visit – but you could be wrong. You may also think you yourself are not a carrier, but you could also be wrong. Clearly the less physical contact you have with other people the less chance the virus has to spread.

When it comes to using your car, you really shouldn’t drive anywhere unless absolutely necessary. As soon as you drive you use fuel necessitating more trips to the petrol station, more contact with other people, and more surfaces that you will touch. You also risk an accident, a breakdown, a puncture, running out of petrol etc, that will put additional pressure on services that are already at risk (such as Breakdown Services, Police, Fire, Ambulance staff and doctors and nurses). And once again involve you in more contact with other people giving the virus more opportunity to spread.

It's simple. Stay at home as much as you can. Visit the shops as infrequently as possible. Keep away from other people. And don't touch surfaces that other people have touched if you can avoid it. Wash your hands frequently.

My view is that given this is a global pandemic, the restrictions are both sensible and reasonable, but I think we could toughen up on non-essential driving more than 10 miles from home.

Johnny😊

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

Johnny Where did you copy that from?

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Johnny
Johnny2 months ago

Dennab Actually I wrote it. Except of course for the four bullet restrictions at the top, which are standard from GOV UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

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davidstockport
davidstockport2 months ago

Johnny And well written too Johnny. But perhaps tightening up on the ten mile limit, except in very rural areas.

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Johnny
Johnny2 months ago

davidstockport Thank you!

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Susana
Susana2 months ago

Very well written. Everyone in the back of their minds knows what does essential and non-essential travel means, but then again people don't really know what to do when their free will is taken away. I having a hard time myself but it's not overbearing so far.

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Johnny
Johnny2 months ago

Susana Thank you 👍 😊

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

Johnny Nicely done. I'm pleasantly surprised and glad other people 'get it'.

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suziq6
suziq62 months ago

Do not go out!

Only for food, medical reasons a walk.

No sitting on the beach or park.

Do NOT drive unless it's essential.

Others not playing by the rules.

We will be locked down for at least 12 weeks.

Our mortality rate is higher now than other European countries as the rules are not getting taken seriously.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Curious for your opinion.

What if you go for a walk, arrive at a park/beach and are tired from walking?

Sit down for a quick rest before continuing, or tough luck because sitting in a park is no longer exercise?

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suziq6
suziq62 months ago

The point is the parks and beach are off limits esp this weekend, so that's not an option.

The police are patrolling them and the car parks are closed at the large ones. So your question is mute.

But would you want to sit down on them anyway? MeestairChrees

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BonzoBanana
BonzoBanana2 months ago

MeestairChrees Well I went for a walk a few days ago, I went along a recreational path and stopped a few times as it was a long walk to sit down. I combined a walk for exercise with collecting some medicine for my mother's cat from the vet. It took me slightly over an hour but would have been less if I hadn't stopped for breaks. I'm not walking everyday most days I stay in so it was a bit of a shock to the system to go for such a long walk.

I certainly felt better for the walk and remaining fit could be the difference between life and death if you get the virus. If you go out you increase your risk of getting the virus but if you allow yourself to become less fit you could increase your chance of dying if you get the virus. I feel its important people do exercise and walking is great exercise, my garden isn't really big enough to walk around, it's a small rear garden occupied with 2 sheds and soon to have a third shed.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

suziq6 since when are they off limits? Parks have been kept open across the country so people can walk in them. Not sure about beaches as I don't live near one, but I'd have thought they're still open to walk on?

And if you're tired after a long walk, why wouldn't you want to sit down to get a bit of energy?

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

BonzoBanana yeah, and it's completely understandable that you needed a quick rest. We're not exercising as much, we can't - it well be a shock to the system if we're just sat around all day.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

BonzoBanana Not that I have an issue with you going out for a walk but there was a bloke on TV the other day running a marathon in his living room!

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees The issue is driving to get to them. I know of two (one in London and another in Manchester) that have the access roads closed to stop people driving to them. I find it unbelievable that local authorities have to waste their time doing that.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab parks or beaches? I've not driven to any. But they're meant to be open for people to walk to.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees They are. I said the access roads ie. roads that cars drive on.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

It doesn't help that government guidance is so unhelpful.

Just like a politician, even their answers to frequently asked questions actually avoid answering the question!

Q. Can I drive to a national park or other green space to walk?

A. We advise you to stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.

You can still go to the park for outdoor exercise once a day but only by yourself or within your household, not in groups.

We ask you to keep 2 metres apart from others outside your household at all times when outdoors.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees Why does the government need to spell it out? They have clearly defined what essential travel is so questions like that shouldn't even exist.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees Answering your other question, I'd recommend not walking so far that you need a break half way through. We all know our physical limits, don't we?

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab but the point is they have that question on their site. Why bother adding it if they doing answer it? I live a 5-10 minute drive from a good walking/nature spot - it's very local but not local enough to walk to and then around. Obviously travelling an hour to go to somewhere isn't a good idea bu, but their guidance says to stay local - surely a quick drive to an open space is going to be a healthier walk than waking alongside a road with cars constantly passing?

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees A 'quick 5 - 10 minute drive' is a few miles of road in which you could be involved in an incident. One hour, ten minutes, it doesn't matter. If you go out in your car unnecessarily, it's showing complete disregard for the emergency services and I fully support them fining anyone who does it. Regarding the walk, unless you live on a motorway, I'm guessing there are smaller roads off that main road, no?

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees I'll add that we're all making sacrifices here. The way it's going with people deciding to interpret the rules in their own way instead of following, we'll all be banned from going anywhere at all. It's so, so simple! I don't understand why you and many others are making a mountain out of a molehill. Two issues - a virus spreading and emergency services having limited resources. We can help to take the pressure off by using some exteremely basic common sense instead of having to be spoon fed rules at every step.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab I'm not interpreting the rules in my own way. I'm saying the rules aren't clear. The government clearly know it's a question people want to know the answer to, because they've added it to their website, yet don't actually bother to answer it - they're very wishy washy with their answer and that's why the rules are open to interpretation - they aren't clear.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees You are overthinking some extremely simple instructions. Stay at home unless you need to travel to buy food / medical supplies or work if you cannot work from home. That's it! There's nothing more to it. They shouldn't even need to the FAQs. It's so simple!!

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Read the first bullet point. It couldn't be any clearer. There is nothing wishy washy about it at all. It's a set of very simple and clear instructions. I can't believe this conversation is still taking place.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab not quite that simple -

you can go out for exercise too. And they know people are wondering if they can drive somewhere local for that, so they have a question on their site about it - they just don't answer it. That's all I'm saying. They shouldn't bother putting that on the site if they aren't going to give a straight answer about it - it just means people can drive and then claim they're still following government guidance, which wouldn't be a lie, because the guidance isn't clear on that subject.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees I think you know the answer by now though. I read the simple instructions and stopped there. Maybe it's the way I think but I can never understand why people can't see a problem and tackle it logically. It doesn't matter what the FAQs say on a website. Maybe the person who wrote them isn't the best copywriter in the world but their skills should not be needed! I'd put any information beyond those simple bullet points in the same category as the warning on bags of nuts that say 'may contain nuts'.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab the point is, people go to that page to find specifics. And the answer fails to address those specifics. For that reason, it's open to interpretation, and people will interpret the answers the way that suits them. That's all I'm pointing out.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees Please just tell me this - how can they be any more specific than saying don't travel for anything other than buying food, medical supplies or work? How is that open to any questions needing to be asked?

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab

Their guidance says "Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)".

Exercise is of course a health reason. It's open to questions being asked because it doesn't say how you can get to wherever you want to exercise.

They clearly think it's open to questions themselves, as they have posted questions and answers. Their answers just aren't always actual answers to the question being asked. Simple as that.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees Right. I must be a genius because I understand everything they have written means stay at home as much as humanely possible!! That's it, end of! They advise you stay local for exercise. Local is the area you live in. The fact they even need to write that shows stupidity has no bounds in this country. I cannot believe how somebody can make something so simple, so incredibly complicated. We are doing this to prevent human contact and keep traffic off the roads to help emergency services. Every single bullet point and FAQ on the government website suggests that is the aim of the game here. I can't do this any longer, sorry.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab they themselves think it's necessary to put up the question. So why don't they answer it properly? That's what we're meant to be discussing here. You might not think they should have to bother with the questions, but you can't say you think they actually answered it properly - they avoided answering it.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees Fine. What do you want from them? A yes or no? I believe you were referring to the question about driving to a park. What's the issue with their answer? They tell you not to travel unnecessarily and upon clicking the link for more information it again says, stay local and don't travel unnecessarily.

I will point out they are the government and in answering questions like that, they have to be very careful that the response does not infringe human rights, make them liable or have any legal implications.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab yes actually. They should be very clear. Especially when it further down says that people can be fined or arrested for breaking the unclear rules. There are legal implications for people who don't follow the rules, but the rules as written are very open to interpretation.

And I've stated my issue with the answer - it doesn't answer the question. It even says "we advise" rather than "you must". And staying local is very open to interpretation too - if you have a national park a 5 minute drive away from you, you'd consider that local, which is quite possibly the reason you're on the page looking for an answer.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees It says don't travel unnecessarily. Driving to a park is not necessary.

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MeestairChrees
MeestairChrees2 months ago

Dennab maybe, but the question still isn't answered properly on their site. Anyway, we're not really getting anywhere with this.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

MeestairChrees We're not, are we? We've had a good discussion though so all is not lost. With any luck, most people reading the website won't get to the stage at which they will need that question answered. 😁

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lilyflower
lilyflower2 months ago

Does anyone know why those who control the groundworkers for the new Virgin Broadband that is supposed to take over every house in the country consider this to be essential work - pavement diggers who have been missing for nearly three weeks are back today - I'm not happy, these are not local people so don't know where they've come from, they are not wearing masks or social distancing and the digger noise is horrible.

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Dennab
Dennab
Original Poster
2 months ago

lilyflower I'd start with a call to Virgin but the local council have to authorise all roadworks so they'll probably be able to help you.

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lilyflower
lilyflower2 months ago

Dennab The response from Virginmedia is "Our business is classed as critical so they are doing essential work. They were never pulled, they have not stopped working to my knowledge, they have just been prioritizing other jobs". I await response from Council. The workmen were on site all Good Friday/Saturday and back this morning. They're wearing white boilersuits over high vis place looks like a crime scene.

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