What does stay local mean? Confusion over how far you can travel in lockdown rules | UK | News

Boris Johnson issued the ‘stay home’ order when the current lockdown in England started at the beginning of January. The order meant anyone leaving their home without a permissible reason could be fined. Now nearly four months on and the orders finally come to an end, giving us all a bit more freedom.

Today’s change marks the end of Step One of the Government’s four-stage plan of the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The roadmap will see shops and outdoor pubs or restaurants reopen from April 12, with indoor venues allowed to reopen from mid-May.

While today’s restrictions aren’t quite as exciting, they will mean friends and family members can meet up once again with six people – or two households – able to meet outdoors.

Outdoor sports such as grassroots football can restart as well as open-air swimming pools and lidos reopening.

READ MORE: What can I do from March 29? Full guide as lockdown rules change

Many have taken to social media to express their confusion and frustration over the lack of clear guidance.

One posted: “It just says “stay local as much as possible” nothing about what counts as local.”

Another said: “So the easing of restrictions is confusing, ‘stay local’ means you can travel as far as you want as long as you can return home the same day. Why the f*** can’t it be made clear from the start.”

A Twitter user added: “I looked this up over the weekend and the government advice is to stay local if possible, but you can travel to anywhere to visit a place or someone as long as you return home the same day.”

A fourth posted: “Legally you can travel as far as you want and for any purpose. In more purring of the lines you are advised to stay local, but the police won’t be bothering you about it. You must not stay out overnight is the only stipulation although you could drive all night.”

Another added: “The *advice* is to stay local as much as possible BUT, reading the ‘road map’, general UK travel isn’t super clear, is it? I’m visiting my aunt in Notts (from Lincoln) this week to get rid of all our Notts family Christmas presents. It’ll be outside & we’re both vaccinated.”

What does stay local mean?

The lockdown roadmap says “people will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home” as a result of the changes today.

However, the guidances adds we should continue to “minimise travel wherever possible and should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage”.

The guidelines also indicate you should not be passing through the devolved nations of the UK.

The guide says: “For example, if you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, there may be a requirement to stay at home or “Stay Local” where you live, which means you cannot travel to England.”

There is no minimum or maximum distance you must stay within, however the advice to stay local suggests you should stay within your area rather than travelling across the country, for instance. has contacted the Government for clarity on the message.

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