So, ladies and gentlemen, everyone perfectly clear on what we’re allowed to do today? I thought so. Here, for the benefit of the terminally confused, is an updated list of Corona Cans and Can’ts. You...
CAN have your hair cut – but only by the dog groomer. Although not in Wales or Scotland.
CAN’T join a gathering of more than six – unless you are hellbent on overthrowing capitalism in which case you can meet thousands of people in Hyde Park and chuck things at the police.
CAN go to work if the R rate is between 0.6 and 0.9 - unless you are too busy shopping. But not in Wales where you can only travel five miles and the shops are shut.
CAN see your grandchildren if you are a single-person household. It’s surprisingly easy to throw out your husband/wife of 40 years. They may, at first, put up a bit of a struggle, but tell them you’re only following government guidelines and they should settle down.
CAN’T go to school if you’re a bored, depressed teenager – but you can attend a rave in the countryside and inhale nitrous oxide, leaving behind hundreds of used capsules which Allison’s puppy, Bingo, will lick enthusiastically and then attempt sexual intercourse. With himself.
CAN join a long queue for Primark but you may have to wait longer for cancer treatment. First things first!
CAN’T travel on public transport without wearing a mask, even if your glasses steam up and you miss your stop. Masks should not be worn in Wales. The minute you cross the River Severn, you can rip off your face-covering and cough as much as you like. But only in Welsh.
CAN board a packed flight from Luton to Larnaca, but if you want to go to church you must pray alone.
CAN’T sing hymns for this is very dangerous. Unless you are at a rally with several thousand other people when you can sing what the hell you like as long as it’s really rude.
CAN travel to a beach or beauty spot but DO NOT attempt to go to the loo.
CAN’T take your GCSEs or A levels or go to a theatre but you can visit a zoo. Although not in Scotland.
CAN open your non-essential shop so long as you put in place ugly and alienating Covid-secure measures which make your business totally unviable. As you tell members of staff that you have to let them go, be sure to maintain two metres social distancing. No comforting hand on the shoulder! Gentle weeping by the newly-unemployed person is permitted, but anyone who threatens to become hysterical should wear a mask.
CAN’T attend the university you have a place at. There are plans to get universities up and running by the autumn of 2021, but ONLY if lecturers have got to the front of the queue in Bicester Village and paid for their Mulberry tote bag. And it’s 100pc safe. In the university, that is, not the shops. Although not in Wales or Scotland where it will never be safe again.
CAN have a summer wedding. Maybe. The Government has been “examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings” since the 11th of May. And they will be letting us know very soon if you can have a summer wedding, possibly as early as November.
CAN’T kiss the bride. The best man will pass the ring to the groom on a pole measuring no less than 6.56168 feet.
CAN have Botox, but you are still forbidden to attend a graduation ceremony or your uncle’s funeral.
CAN’T go on holiday abroad to a country which has returned to normal after overcoming Covid without entering a strict quarantine for 14 days on your return in case you import the virus from the country that doesn’t have it. A vast army of highly-trained Home Office quarantine enforcers – Hayley and Saj in Scunthorpe – will phone one in five returning British holidaymakers and ask, “Are you observing the quarantine rules?” You will reply, “Yes, indeed, I am!” even if you have left your household to enjoy afternoon carnal relations with a member of the SAGE committee who is “keeping the science under review”.
CAN work if you can but do NOT send your children to school. Lock the little darlings in a cupboard under the stairs with a bumper pack of Wotsits and a flashlight. Tell them not to worry, they can expect a Number 10 Review of their situation very soon.
Well, I hope that’s perfectly clear. How nice that we can all continue to navigate the Coronacrisis with no whiff of suspicion that the powers-that-be don’t know their Rs from their elbow.