How far can you travel to exercise in lockdown in England?
11 January 2021, 15:40
Can you drive to exercise in lockdown in England? Here's what you need to know about the Covid restrictions...
Boris Johnson announced the third national lockdown in England on January 5, meaning people are only permitted to leave their houses for very specific reasons.
Under the new lockdown restrictions, these include travelling for work, to buy essential items, to care for someone vulnerable or for exercise.
But can you drive to exercise and how far can you travel? Here’s what we know…
How far can you travel for exercise?
Those in England are allowed to leave their homes for exercise once a day.
They can do this alone, with a member of their household or support bubble, or with one member of another household if social distancing is adhered to.
You are allowed to exercise in outdoor public places including parks and beaches. However, the rules state that you should ‘stay local’ if possible.
The Government guidance says: "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."
A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman has added: “The term ‘local area’ in this context has not been legally defined.
"However, people should be sensible about this - if you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live - unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so (for example, you need to travel further for work or to avoid harm)."
This means you should stay in the area around your home, if it is possible to exercise safely.
Meanwhile, Derbyshire Police recently fined two women £200 each after they drove for a walk in Derbyshire.
Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore were walking at a reservoir five miles from their home when they were stopped by officers.
Derbyshire Police insisted driving to exercise was ‘not in the spirit’ of lockdown, but have now said new guidance means they will review the fines.
A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said at the time: “The current guidance states that while you are able to exercise you should do so locally – defined as being within your village, town or city area.
“We of course understand that there may be valid reasons for travelling outside of these areas for exercise, however, driving to a location – where exercise could easily have been taken closer to a person’s home – is clearly not in the spirit of the national effort to reduce our travel, reduce the possible spread of the disease and reduce the number of deaths.
“Each officer will use their professional judgement on a case-by-case basis, however, people should expect to be challenged and understand the clear reasons why they may be asked about their movements given the critical situation the NHS currently finds itself in.”