Look, I get it. It’s been nearly a year since this coronavirus pandemic required most of us to stay home in order to not spread the disease that has resulted in over 2 million deaths thus far. I can understand why you might be antsy existing only within the four walls of your home and might want to get out for a bit. But if you happen to live somewhere like, say, England, which recently went under lockdown again, there are very specific reasons for which you can leave your home without facing any consequences. And folks, in case it wasn’t clear, playing Pokemon Go is not among those reasons.
According to BBC, England citizens can leave their homes during lockdown for the following reasons:
- Shopping for essentials such as food and medicine
- Meeting your support or childcare bubble
- Children can move between separated parents
- Working or volunteering where it is “unreasonable” to work from home. This includes work in someone else’s home – for example nannies, cleaners and tradespeople
- Education, training, childcare, medical appointments and emergencies
- Religious worship
- Moving house
As you can see, capturing Pokemon with your phone is not on this list, and a Bedworth man learned this the hard way by facing the consequences of his actions with a nice fine. The man was found by Warwickshire Police having traveled 14 miles away from his Bedworth home to play Pokemon Go. As such, he received a £200 (roughly $270 USD) fine for “contravening the requirement to not leave or be outside the place they live without a reasonable excuse.”
“Everyone has a part to play in ensuring they slow the spread of the virus,” a police spokeswoman said in a statement to BBC. “We would like to remind people they must not leave or be outside their home unless they have a reasonable excuse.”
Back when the pandemic first began, Pokemon Go developer Niantic made some changes to the game’s systems, which usually require people to travel either by foot or by driving, in order to allow people to get more out of the game while staying quarantined at home. Clearly it wasn’t enough for some people, as some are willing to risk a financial loss in order to get a Pokemon gain. You know, if the threat of acquiring or spreading the coronavirus wasn’t enough for you. You can still leave your house to get groceries, king. Just play Pokemon Go on the way to the store. As long as you’re being safe and not playing while driving. If you have no one else who can drive you on your Pokemon Go sessions then you should probably find a new game to play.
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In happier Pokemon news, the series is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it’s kicking things off with a musical collaboration with artists like pop singer Katy Perry. The Pokemon Company and Nintendo also announced that New Pokemon Snap, the sequel to the beloved Nintendo 64 photography sim, will launch on Switch in April.