5 of the most bizarre pieces of advice from new police lockdown guidelines
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"Buying paint and brushes, simply to redecorate a kitchen" is not a reasonable excuse to leave your home, but you can buy "tools and supplies to repair a fence panel" according to police guidance.

The guidelines, which were issued by the National Police Chiefs' Council to help police interpret government lockdown regulations, have been seen by the public for the first time. And whilst they might clear up quibbles over sunbathing (not allowed) and shopping in the non-essential aisles (allowed), the guidelines are likely to prompt as many questions as they answer.

For instance, you are not allowed to take a "short walk to a park bench", but you can "rest or eat lunch" on a long walk. You can also visit an allotment or practice yoga, as long as you don't use "a very short period of exercise" to excuse a "long period of inactivity".

Elsewhere, the guidelines say that you can move to a friend's address for several days "to allow a 'cooling-off' following arguments at home". You can also move house as long as it's a "genuine move", measured in "days not hours".

The advice on shopping is particularly perplexing. The only thing specifically labelled as "not likely to be reasonable" is buying supplies to decorate your kitchen. And whilst you can purchase "snacks and luxury goods", it's unclear whether you're allowed to go to the shops simply for this purpose. You can, however, collect your takeaway and even "surplus basic food items for a friend".

It would be fair to say that people are a little confused.

Some of the guidelines are really specific (like visiting a vet surgery as long as a call wouldn't have sufficed).

Others are perplexingly vague.

People are loving the police's official definition of what constitutes exercise.

And questioning whether clapping on Westminster Bridge might count as exercise.

With at least three more weeks of social distancing ahead of us, it appears that we're not much closer to finding out exactly what we can and can't do when it comes to shopping, exercising or going to work.

But rest assured that the police, at least, don't expect you to finally get round to redecorating your kitchen.

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