When Boris Johnson introduced the UK lockdown he gave “a very simple instruction – you must stay at home”.
But it has now emerged his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, allegedly broke the rules just days later by traveling 260 miles from his London home to his family home in Durham.
The rules, announced in a speech the British PM made to the nation on March 23, stated that people would only be allowed to leave the house for limited purposes.
These were shopping for basics, one form of exercise a day, traveling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary, and medical needs.
Reinforcing the message, he said people should not meet family members who do not live with them.
Even before the lockdown, Mr Johnson set out a stark warning to the nation, telling them on March 16 that “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel”.
Downing Street previously confirmed Mr Cummings had started displaying coronavirus symptoms “over the weekend” of March 28 and 29.
Cummings is alleged to have been present at his family home when police from Durham Constabulary turned up on March 31, following a call from someone reporting they had seen him in the area.
Durham police confirmed officers had spoken to the owners of an address in the city after reports a person had traveled there from London.
Officers “explained to the family the arrangements around self-isolation guidelines and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel”, the force said.