James O'Brien caller argues it's more "common sense" to visit parents than a park

12 May 2020, 12:22 | Updated: 12 May 2020, 13:48

By Fiona Jones

This caller admitted he'd already gone to see his parents because he believed it more common sense to mix with family members in a controlled environment than in a large public space with strangers.

Boris Johnson told MPs that "good solid British common sense" had worked throughout phase one and he had "no doubt" it would work in the second phase of fighting coronavirus as he outlined the new lockdown rules.

Caller Rob told James: "I deem it more common sense to only intermix with my mother and father, my son's grandparents, every couple of days as opposed to travelling to a park and intermixing with potentially hundreds of other people every other day."

James asked him if he thinks he's allowed to do that now.

"I don't think I'm allowed to do that but I deem that more common sense than visiting a park because in a park you've got more chance of spreading or receiving from more people than just keeping it to my mother and father."

James likened it to the rules for a teacher where they are permitted to have 15 children in a classroom close to them but if one comes within two metres in a park they are "somehow breaking the rules."

Boris Johnson said that "good solid British common sense" had worked throughout phase one
Boris Johnson said that "good solid British common sense" had worked throughout phase one. Picture: PA

"You're still not supposed to see your grandparents in the garden but...the fact you're allowed to go to the park more often makes you feel like you're allowed to break the rules as it makes less sense than it did before?" he asked.

Rob responded: "The fact we're allowed unlimited exercise, what are we supposed to do? Do we take our own toilet? Where do we go and wash our hands? I can do that in my mum and dad's house."

Rob "absolutely" agreed the government has made him less committed to the rules he was obeying, and admitted he'd already seen his parents.

"That's purely because the relaxation of this unlimited exercise...you've got more chance of transmitting and being transmitted to in a park in my common sense opinion, that they've allowed me to take, than you have in my parent's back garden," Rob said.

James replied that Rob has taken this exhortation to use common sense and it has led him to contravene the official guidance for reasons that many people listening would completely understand.

"That's the problem with the lack of leadership and clarity, and when they try to replace it with a suggestion that everybody should use their common sense without telling us what common sense should lead us to do, you get an idea of the scale of the problem."

Can I meet up with other people under new lockdown rules?

The guidance says you can meet up with "one person from outside your household", but only in an outside setting.You must remain compliant with social distancing guidelines and remain two metres from them at all times.

So for example, you can see a friend or partner in a park, but are not allowed closer than 2m to each other.

The document adds: "You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household."

READ MORE: The new rules of lockdown explained

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