Given an inch, I’ll take a mile

Today we’re publishing an original piece from us looking at how best to skirt around the rules still in place through the planned roadmap.

13th March 2021

The Government’s roadmap may be moving at a glacial pace, especially as Scotland starts to accelerate its unlocking; however, there are a few gems hidden within it – loopholes, if you will – if you look closely and creatively enough.

Step 1a – 8 March

From 8 March, schools returned, and we were permitted to leave home for a picnic with one other individual not in our household or support bubble. We all know about these; however, also added to the easing of restrictions was that “Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group.”

This means that you would be well within your legal rights were you to organise an activity for your child and your friends’ children that would allow you to discuss, in person and with those friends, a certain business idea you might be keen on pursuing with said friends. If that should take the shape of a playdate for the kids and a dinner party for the adults, well, so be it – it’s not as if you can host a business meeting in a restaurant right now.

Step 1b – 29 March

The additional easing that comes on 29 March includes outdoor sports (where formally organised) to resume, and the rule of six (or two households) to return, including for private gardens.

This is the date that the Stay-at-Home order will be lifted, and, also, I believe the date the nation will reach critical mass on non-compliance as enforcement of the rules on private gatherings will become too difficult; however, we are looking at legal loopholes here, not outright non-compliance.

So, here’s what I’m thinking… The five individuals who you have over for a BBQ on 29 March will, of course, be permitted entry to the home in order to pass through to the garden. Once you’ve kindly permitted your guests entry to your home, I suggest you ensure they get lost on the way to the garden, ideally somewhere around the dining table, or the living room; while getting lost in a strange place is always stressful, were they to spend the entire day “passing through the home on the way to the garden”, that would appear to be within the rules come 29 March.

Step 2 – 12 April

The current plan will see a fair few restrictions lifted in Step 2 on 12 April, including pub gardens, gyms, zoos, theme parks, non-essential retail, hairdressers and so on, and so the need for loopholes starts to dwindle.

However, there is one restriction easing that I plan to take advantage of: “Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions, and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15 (from 6).”

While funerals must, it seems, take place at a registered address, at no point is it specified where such commemorative events must take place, and so, from 12 April, I plan to hold weekly wakes for the passing of my great friends Civil Liberties, Common Sense, and Inalienable Rights. Their passing has caused me immeasurable grief, and I fear I will need to mourn this loss on a regular basis – until such a day arrives that they may be revived.

Step 3 – 17 May

Come 17 May, as per the Government’s roadmap, my life will be largely, and practically, unaffected; however, my weekly wakes can be extended to thirty people by this point.

Step 4 – 21 June

I won’t speculate this far, not least because the language in the roadmap changes and becomes somewhat worrisome as each easing of restrictions includes the words “we hope to”, as opposed to steps 1-3 which uses the words “it will be”; you will forgive me for not having too much faith in this Government’s “hopes” at this point.

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