BRITS should not to stop for petrol and food unless it is essential to stop “intermixing” as lockdown is eased, a government minister has warned.
Nigel Huddleston, the minister for sport, said members of the public should “think carefully about how they travel” as the stay home rule is scrapped in England today.
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Groups of up to six people or two households can now meet outdoors in the first major easing of lockdown restrictions in three months.
The ‘stay home' message has also been ditched, so it will not be illegal to travel to see relatives outdoors further afield – though the public are still advised to meet up with friends and family locally.
The old rules are today replaced with a 'stay local' instruction – but a Government spokesperson told the Evening Standard there are no legal limits on travel.
Urging Brits to remain cautious, Mr Huddleston told Sky News: “I think if people are travelling they need to think very carefully about how they travel, where they fill up for petrol, if they need food and so on.”
“You can probably get that locally before you go on the journey because what we don't want is people intermixing in different parts of the country to any greater degree than necessary.
“When you do go and visit a friend or a relative make sure you stay in those gardens or stay outdoors and obey those rules, so please just again be sensible.”
The relaxation of the rules comes as a heatwave sweeps across the country this week, with temperatures to hit highs of 24C.
But the Government has stressed people should "exercise good judgment" and "minimise travel as far as possible".
They added: "Whilst the 'stay at home' rule has ended, many restrictions remain in place.
"We ask everyone to act responsibly and cautiously and minimise travel where possible as these restrictions ease."
Football and cricket pitches, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, golf courses and sailing clubs are now free to reopen after months of being shuttered.
Organised team sports can also resume outdoors, meaning grassroots competitions can take place ahead of the Easter break without the need for social distancing.
And Brits can even go inside other homes – but only briefly to use the toilet, get a drink or walk through to the garden. The same rule will apply to toilets when pub gardens reopen in April.
There are still rules in place – people must socially distance from each other, and meeting indoors is still banned.
Travel out of the country also remains strictly banned other than a small number of exceptions.
April 12 will see the first major easing of restrictions with non-essential shops and hairdressers to reopen and restrictions on people's travel will be further relaxed.
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