Last night Boris Johnson announced new government guidance to help tackle the spread of Covid-19, which includes people only leaving their homes to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items, and to fulfil any medical or care needs.
Under the new guidance, Britons are also allowed to leave their home for one form of exercise a day, such as a run, walk or cycle. The Prime Minister emphasised that this should be done alone or with people you live with.
In addition, he announced that “parks will be open for exercise, but gatherings will be dispersed”.
Even when following the above guidance, people should minimise the amount of time spent out of their homes and should keep two metres (6ft) away from people they do not live with. It is also advisable to wash your hands as soon as you return home.
During the daily Covid-19 news conference on Sunday, Boris stressed the importance of daily outdoor exercise: “It is very important for people’s mental and physical wellbeing that they should be able to get out and exercise if they possibly can, and many, many people do not have access to private green spaces… That’s why parks, open spaces are so absolutely crucial for our country and for our society, but when we do that we have to do it responsibly.”
The new “lockdown” measures announced last night follow the guidance shared by the outdoor industry yesterday which backed the Prime Minister’s call for the public to behave responsibly while exercising outside.
In a joint statement, 35 organisations from the outdoor recreation industry, including the Outdoor Industries Association, National Trust and Forestry England, advises the nation on how to stay active safely during the Covid-19 outbreak: “As the Prime Minister outlined, we must preserve the health of the vulnerable and restrict the spread of Covid-19, while doing all that we can to maintain the mental, social and physical health of the nation. We endorse this approach and encourage the public to strictly follow social distancing guidance while exercising outside, close to home.
“We 35 national outdoor organisations advocate the following:
- Enjoy active outdoor recreation in your local area, while practising good social distancing at all times
- Do not travel to popular tourist areas and reduce the risk of groups gathering in one place
- Stay close to home – consider low risk, familiar activities in local areas, such as a local walk or run
- Avoid public transport and social gatherings – keep active by travelling on foot or bike
- Outdoor play and learning opportunities that reflect government guidelines are available to children, including those of key workers attending school.”
The GB’s official mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS) has reminded the public that even in the country’s more densely populated areas, no-one is ever far from a green space, such as a local park. To find the nearest green space anywhere in the country, use the online tool at https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/explore-near-me/form