What is local? Yorkshire coast Rule of Six and stay local guidance explained as Stay Home advice is dropped

This week the government scrapped the Stay at Home rule, to allow people to leave home for outdoor recreation in groups as well as exercise.

By Steve Bambridge
Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:40 pm
Scarborough Castle and Whitby Abbey have now reopened
Scarborough Castle and Whitby Abbey have now reopened

New Government guidance has reintroduced the Rule of Six for gatherings in public outdoor spaces as well as private gardens. Equally, two households of any size are now able to meet up outdoors. Social distancing and recommended safety measures should still be followed.

Formally organised outdoor sport is also now permitted for any number of people, as well as formally organised outdoor parent and child groups for up to 15 people. Children under the age of five do not count in this number.

What the law says about stay home and stay local

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While police are still able to take action against anyone meeting in larger groups than those allowed, is it still illegal to travel outside of your local area?

Until Monday, it was possible to be stopped and fined for leaving home to travel anywhere without what constituted a ‘reasonable excuse’.

Now, people are no longer legally required to have a reasonable excuse to leave home. Instead we are told to ‘Stay Local’ with guidance which advises the public to minimise travel where possible, to avoid making unnecessary trips, and to combine trips.

The guidance says: " You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible.


you can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (a household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)

you can take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)

childcare and supervised activities are allowed outdoors for all children

formally organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be counted in this number

What is still illegal?

Attending indoor gatherings and travelling for holidays in the UK or abroad remain banned. Overnight stays away from home are also still prohibited unless the person:

Is unable to return to their main residence

needs accommodation while moving house

needs accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event, or following a bereavement of a close family member or friend

needs accommodation to attend a medical appointment or receive treatment

needs accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services, or attend education

is a child requiring accommodation for school or care

is homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)

is an elite athlete or their support staff or parent provided the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home in order to take part in training or a competition

Fines can still be issued for breaking restrictions.