Coronavirus UK: Can you drive during the lockdown?

26 March 2020, 11:49 | Updated: 26 March 2020, 11:51

Can you drive during the UK lockdown?
Can you drive during the UK lockdown? Picture: PA

The Prime Minister has brought in stricter new rules for everyday life in the UK to try to tackle coronavirus with the country effectively on lockdown, but can you drive during the lockdown?

Boris Johnson enforced strict measures in his coronavirus lockdown speech - including restricting the reasons people can leave their homes.

Brits are now only allowed out to buy essential food or medicine, to exercise once a day, for medical help, and to support someone who's vulnerable.

Read more: Coronavirus symptoms - What are they and what is the risk of Covid-19 in the UK?

The Prime Minister told the nation they should only be going to work if "absolutely necessary".

The country has also been warned against visiting friends and now gatherings of more than two people can be dispersed by police under the new rules.

Officers will also be able to fine people who don't stick to the guidance.

Read more: Coronavirus: Beard sanitiser sales spike after NHS urged staff to shave

Can you drive during a lockdown?

Rules around the world on lockdowns have differed depending on the country.

The Chinese city of Wuhan was the first to go into Lockdown on January 23.

Read more: How long does Covid-19 live on surfaces, and is it safe to get overseas post?

Chinese authorities banned travel in or out of the city, even for those who had compelling medical or humanitarian reasons.

Inside the city, all public transportation was suspended and private cars were barred from roads.

Read more: Who is a key worker and what children are classed as vulnerable in UK school closures?

Read more: Coronavirus and pregnant women: What is the official government advice?

In Europe several cities are on lockdown, Italy was the first to put the measure into place in the northern region before it was extended nationwide two days later.

Public transport in Italy remains open, but movement is severely restricted.

Travel is only allowed for “urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons.”

People leaving their own homes have to fill out a form explaining their reasons for doing so and carry it with them.

Those who lie face a jail term of up to three months or a fine of €206 (£190).

Read more: Coronavirus - Who should self-isolate and for how long?

Can you drive if the UK imposes a lockdown?

The Covid-19 pandemic has already hit British drivers.

All driving tests in Northern Ireland have been suspended from Friday for three months, while in the UK, theory tests are suspended for one month, and driving tests are suspended for up to 3 months due to coronavirus - but tests are available for critical workers.

Read more: Coronavirus UK: Do surgical face masks work to avoid virus symptoms?

For those licensed to drive, driving is still allowed providing the Government's social distancing rules are adhered to.

These individuals are advised to be cautious at petrol stations, making sure to wear disposable gloves when pumping petrol and trying to use self-service pumps or keep a safe distance inside when paying.

Those in self-isolation have been advised by health authorities it is best not to drive.

Anyone who is self-isolating, or suffering from coronavirus symptoms, should avoid leaving their homes for at least seven days.

If possible, when self-isolating, you should not leave your home even to buy food or other essentials.

If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave your home.