Can you have a BBQ in lockdown? Rules for having a barbecue outdoors - and the fines for flouting

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With temperatures now starting to hot up as the UK heads towards summer, many people will be itching to spend time outside

As lockdown rules start to be eased across the country, with unlimited exercise now allowed in England, Scotland and Wales, Brits can now make the most of enjoying time outdoors - but what do the rules say about barbecues?

Can I have a BBQ during lockdown?

The UK government has outlined a three-phase plan to ease the country out of lockdown.

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Lockdown rules means Brits should remain indoors, despite the warm weather (Photo: Shutterstock)Lockdown rules means Brits should remain indoors, despite the warm weather (Photo: Shutterstock)
Lockdown rules means Brits should remain indoors, despite the warm weather (Photo: Shutterstock)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a number of changes to current measures in a national address on Sunday (10 May), unveiling a “road map for reopening society”.

As of Wednesday (11 May), people in England are being encouraged to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and play sports, but only with members of their household.

Visiting and sunbathing in local parks will also be allowed, along with outdoor picnics and barbecues, providing social distancing guidelines are followed.

While Scotland has scrapped its cap on daily exercise, Scots have been warned against meeting up in groups at parks or beaches, and to avoid sunbathing, picnics and barbecues.

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Going outside to exercise more than once a day is now allowed in Wales, but should still be done locally and not a significant distance from the home.

But the stay at home message still remains, meaning people are not allowed to head to parks or gather in outdoor spaces to enjoy a barbecue.

Northern Ireland is allowing groups of between four and six people who do not share a household to meet up outdoors, meaning people could have a barbecue togeher, so long as a two metre social distance is maintained.

Am I allowed to have a BBQ at home?

While unlimited outdoor exercise is now permitted in some parts of the UK, mass gatherings are still not allowed.

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In England, Scotland and Wales, visiting the homes of family and friends is still prohibitied, with police having the authority to issue fines if such rules are broken.

This means you should not invite your family and friends for a BBQ at your home.

In Northern Ireland, visits to immediate family indoors is allowed providing social distancing is adhered to, with the exception of those who are shielding.

However, if you have your own BBQ, there is no rule to prevent you from using it at your home.

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This means it must be used in your own garden and only by the people who are in your household.

There should be strictly no possibility of other members of the public coming into contact with it.

You should avoid having a BBQ on a balcony as debris can drift to other levels and pose a fire risk to other floors.

Will I be arrested if I break the rules?

Police have been given the power to arrest and fine people who flout coronavirus lockdown rules.

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Those who ignore the government issued guidance will be breaking the law, and can be ordered by police to return to their home, or leave an area.

Police are also able to disperse a group, using “reasonable force”, if necessary, and can take steps to ensure that parents are stopping their children from breaking the lockdown rules.

Those who ignore the restrictions on movement could land an initial fine of £30, rising to unlimited fines for non-compliance.

In England, fines for breaching coronavirus regulations will rise from £60 to £100, while payment of the fine within 14 days will reduce the sum to £50, up from the present £30.

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Repeat offenders will see the fine double for each subsequent breach to a maximum of £3,200.

Refusing to provide police with a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence.


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