The advice on exercise has been clarified to avoid confusion.
England officially went on lockdown again earlier this month, with the government ordering the public to stay at home unless absolutely necessary – with very few exceptions to the rule. And with police patrolling many towns and cities to enforce these new regulations, it can be difficult to navigate what exactly we can and cannot do during this period.
While the public is instructed to only leave the house for necessary purposes such as “essential work” (which you can find out more about here) and to pick up food and medicines, there is an exception to the rule – which is that you’re able to leave the house for exercise daily. But what exactly does that mean? Here are the rules, as advised by the government:
How far can we go?
With two women in Derbyshire recently fined £200 each for travelling five miles away from their homes for a walk, the government have been forced to clarify what they mean by ‘stay local’, with many misinterpreting the rules. The guidance now states “If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.” Basically, if you were planning a drive down from Highgate to Richmond this week, or planned to head into the Essex countryside, you’re best off cancelling those plans in favour of a local stay.
Dog walking is classed as exercise
If you’re blessed with the gift that is a pet dog, walking your pet classes as your daily exercise – which was also the case during the first lockdown. While you may usually drive to a large field to let your dogs stretch their little legs, unfortunately, due to the new regulations, you’ll need to walk them more locally.
Do not travel to exercise
You must stay local when undertaking your daily exercise. This means using local green spaces or running nearby to your house. Unnecessary travel is banned during the lockdown period.
Gardens are preferable
If you’re one of those lucky people who have their own garden or balcony, utilise it as best possible for anything that requires being outside. Need some fresh air or to stretch your legs? Garden. Fancy a bit of yoga out in the open? Garden. Want a change of scenery? Garden.
Stick to the 2-metre rule
If you’re out in public, you must keep 2 metres away from those who you do not live with. This helps to prevent the spread of the virus, since it’s believed by scientists that COVID-19 is spread by droplets. The 2-metre rule applies for everything, whether you are at the shop, doctors, or out getting some exercise.
You can only meet one other person outdoors
While you may be missing your gym buddies, as part of the lockdown rules, we are only able to meet with one other person from another household. So if you have a regular jogging partner, you are permitted to see them – while social distancing – in an outdoor setting. Other people you may exercise with including people from your household, or your support bubble if you live alone.
Personal training can continue
Thought you had to stop working with your personal trainer throughout the lockdown? The government have actually allowed this activity, provided that you train one-on-one only. Social distancing also applies to anyone who does not live in your household.
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
And avoid touching your face until you have done. Even if you don’t believe you have come into contact with anyone or anything, it’s not worth the risk as carriers of the virus could have touched pelican crossings, railings or even the door handle to your apartment building. Better to be safe, than sick!