03 Nov Coronavirus: Top cabinet ministers sow confusion over England’s lockdown rules | Politics News
Senior cabinet ministers have sown confusion over the new lockdown rules for England, which are due to come into force on Thursday.
Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, issued an apology for wrongly suggesting people in England might be able to continue playing tennis or golf.
Downing Street has also been forced to clarify remarks by Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, about meeting up with another household outside.
Under England’s impending second national lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities to close.
Yet, during an online question and answer session with his constituents on Monday, Mr Gove suggested it would be possible to play singles tennis.
He also said the government was “looking at” allowing people to play golf with one other person.
However, on Tuesday, the cabinet minister apologised and admitted on Twitter: “I got this wrong.”
“Outdoor leisure facilities including tennis courts and golf courses will be closed from Thursday,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Jenrick suggested in a TV interview that households could go for a walk with one other person.
Asked on BBC Breakfast if a family could go for a walk with a friend, he replied: “Yes.”
But, pressed on the issue, Mr Jenrick added: “Yes, so you can go out in your own household, or with one other person.”
Asked about the cabinet minister’s suggestion that households can meet with one person and go for a walk, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “In the context of a support bubble, that would be correct.
“So a household could meet up with their support bubble which could be a single parent or a grandparent for example, and they could go for a walk in the park.
“Separately, what the regulations will say is that either you can go to exercise or take recreation in the park with your household or alternatively it could be one plus one – one person from one household could go to the park with one person from another.”
On Monday, the prime minister had resisted calls from MPs to keep gyms, tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools open from Thursday.