Here's what you can and can't do for outdoor exercise during lockdown

Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 3:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 3:21 pm
UK citizens can exercise outdoors once a day (Getty Images)

Outdoor exercise remains one of the few essential activities that Britons can do during the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock however suggested that these rules could be tightened if enough members of the public failed to adhere to tight social distancing rules.

The warning came after reports of groups of people gathering in parks during warmer weather.

Measures have been in place for over two weeks but some remain confused over what they can and can’t do during their daily period of outdoor exercise.

How many times a day can I exercise?

The government advice stipulates that members of the public can leave the house for “one form of exercise a day”.

It puts no time limit on the span of your exercise, but states that those undertaking outdoor exercise must “minimise the time you are out of your home”.

What type of exercise can I do?

Team sports are obviously out the window with Government guidance saying that citizens can go for “a run, walk, or cycle” as part of their daily exercise.

The public aren’t limited to these three choices, with the government merely suggesting them as examples.

When embarking on this exercise you must “remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household”.

The government include walking your pet or looking after your horse as acceptable forms of outdoor exercise.

Can I exercise with friends?

Government advice warns that exercise can only be carried out alone or with members of your household.

This would mean, for instance, that meeting up with a running partner is off-limits.

Can I drive to do exercise?

The government advise that where possible “stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible.”

They also advise that members of the public “do not travel unnecessarily,” whether that be to national parks or the local beach.

Can I exercise more than once a day if I need to due to a medical condition?

There are exceptions to the government’s rule of outdoor exercise once a day in a local area.

Guidance states: “If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so.”

Could outdoor exercise be banned?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested that outdoor exercise could be banned if social distancing rules weren’t adhered to by enough people.

On BBC Today he said: “We’ve said it’s okay to go for exercise, because the physical and mental health benefits of exercise are really important.

“If you don’t want us to take the step to ban exercise of all forms outside your own home, then you’ve got to follow the rules.

“I don’t want to take that action, of course I don’t, but we have already demonstrated that we are prepared to take action to get this virus under control.”

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