Can I still drive my car under a coronavirus lockdown? Where am I allowed to travel to?
Motorists will still be able to use their cars for certain necessary measures although some journeys to meet with friends or family members will not be allowed unless under certain circumstances. Journeys to work will be allowed if you are a key worker and trips to the supermarket or to get medicinal supplies will be acceptable.
- Panic buying can invalidate car insurance
If the UK follows other Europoean nations, roadblocks may be imminent and checks could soon be made to identify whether the journey is absolutely essential.
However, for the time being police will be able to issue fines to break up large packs as the government enccourages people to use common sense.
Speaking to the nation, Boris Johnson said: “People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes.
“Shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day for exmaple a run, walk or cycle, alone or with members of your household.
“Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person and travelling to and from work but only where this is absolutely necessaru and cannot be done from home. That’s all.”
Last week, a government source told The Times new legislation which could be introduced would have the power to issue some road rules.
The new policy could restrict access to certain areas and may include stopping cars, buses and trains.
The government insider said: “This is not about arresting people on the street.
“This is about some simple measures to ensure that the current public health guidance is followed.”
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If lockdown rules follow Spain’s example it is unlikely passengers will be allowed under any circumstances.
This has been ruled out by Spanish authorities even if the passenger and not the driver themselves has a valid reason to leave.
It would therefore potentially become impossible for someone to take a relative or dependent who is unable to drive out under the lockdown measures.
If the situation becomes more severe private vehicles could be barred from the roads as seen in Wuhan, where the outbreak began.
- These MOT test fees will be scrapped
Has the motoring industry been affected by coronavirus?
Driving during the lockdown could have a range of consequences for road users as usual services are unlikely to be available.
Breakdown services could be affected meaning motorists may face longer wait times for recovery teams to turn up.
AA CEO Simon Breakwell said: “We’ve already taken a range of steps to maintain our service to you.
“But you may experience a longer wait than usual when contacting us on the telephone while the COVID-19 situation continues.”
AA teams have said staff are taking the latest hygiene advice such as using their protective gloves and cleaning products.
Other motoring services affected include DVSA driving tests which were temporarily suspended last week.
Ford has said it will do everything it can to deliver cars to those who had ordered them after factories were closed across Europe.
Nissan has revealed they have closed their Sunderland plant which is one of the UK’s largest car factories.
However, fuel costs are set to dramatically decrease as demand for global oil supplies tumble amid the crisis.
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