12/01/2021 10:06 GMT | Updated 12/01/2021 10:16 GMT

Having A Coffee Outside Isn't Against Lockdown Rules, Says Police Minister

Kit Malthouse says coming up with precise guidance was a "Scotch egg moment".

Getting a takeaway coffee on the way to exercise outside is allowed under the national lockdown in England, the police minister has said.

Kit Malthouse said setting out precise rules around leaving home had been one of those “Scotch egg moments” for the government.

In December there was confusion over whether a scotch egg counted as a “substantial meal” in a pub, allowing the customer to also drink alcohol. 

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Malthouse said the public should use “common sense” when following the current restrictions.

“If you’re getting coffee on your way to do exercise, or as part of your acquiring food, or one of those reasons you’re allowed to be out of the house, then that is legitimate,” he said.

“This is one of those Scotch egg moments, where it’s very hard for us legislators to legislate for every single nuance of human behaviour.”

Under the restrictions in place in England, people have been told to stay at home unless it is essential to leave.

People are allowed to go outside to exercise by themselves or with one other person.

But Nadhim Zahawi, the minister for vaccine deployment, told Times Radio people should not use exercise as cover for socialising with friends.

“Don’t go out and sit or have that opportunity of social interaction because you’re helping the virus and that’s what we want to avoid,” he said.

It comes as Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, warned coronavirus rule-breakers they were “increasingly likely” to face fines as forces move “more quickly”.

She told the BBC it was “preposterous” that anyone could be unaware of the need to follow the restrictions.

But Dick refused to comment on Boris Johnson’s decision to ride his bike seven miles from his home in Downing Street.

“I am not going to comment on individual cases. I’m really not,” she said. “What I can say is that it is not against the law. I think that’s implicit.”

Johnson has warned the current strict rules will be made even tougher if they are not followed.