'Don't let a coffee cost a life' message considered by Government

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coffee Takeaway Drinks Legislation Health and safety Coronavirus lockdown

The Government is reportedly drafting hard-hitting adverts designed to make the public think twice before leaving home for a takeaway drink.

Home secretary Priti Patel said the Government’s focus was to enforce existing rules but did not rule out tighter laws being introduced in the weeks to come.

"The plans are very much to enforce the rules," she told ITV’s This Morning​ on Thursday 14 January.

"This isn't about new rules coming in - we're going to stick with enforcing the current measures," she added. "We are not thinking about bringing in new measures today or tomorrow."

Several newspapers have reported the Prime Minister is reluctant to introduce tougher rules - such as banning exercise between different households or making masks mandatory outside - before viewing more data on the lockdown’s impact so far.

Cost of coffee

The Spectator​ magazine reported that Downing Street wanted to "focus on stronger messaging while they wait and see whether the new measures are working."

Reports said it understood a stronger messaging campaign was being prepared​, with "one draft advert being considered for publication reads along the lines of 'grabbing a coffee can kill'."

"Tweaks to guidance rather than changes to the regulations are viewed as more likely in the short term," the article added.

"In the meantime, expect tougher messaging on the current rules – with new adverts being drawn up."

The Sun​ newspaper also reported one slogan under consideration was ‘Don’t let a coffee cost a life’, alongside ‘Covid takes the train too’.

Takeaway woes

The hospitality industry described feeling scapegoated by the Government after lockdown laws banned the sale of takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.

Many pubs have been running offers of takeaway coffee and food to bring in some income. 

Under England’s third lockdown, people are only allowed to leave home for essential reasons such as buying groceries, going to work and exercising with up to one person from another household.

Minister for policing Kit Malthouse confirmed it was legal to pick up a takeaway soft drink on a walk.

Malthouse said: "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."

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