Although England is in the midst of another lockdown due to rising rates of COVID-19, one exception that allows people to leave their homes is to get exercise. While many people have become more accustomed to working out indoors, there are some who still prefer to do so outside—even during the winter.
It is important to understand the current restrictions and allowances when it comes to exercising outdoors. In January, two women were issued fines by Derbyshire police for travelling 5 miles from their homes to take a walk. Officers issued the fines due to the distance that the women travelled in order to take their walk. Additionally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself came under criticism for riding his bicycle 7 miles from his residence.
Although police have said that Johnson’s ride did not violate any laws, and the Derbyshire fines were eventually rescinded, these cases emphasise the importance of understanding what is allowable and safe when it comes to outdoor exercise during lockdown.
Current restrictions pertaining to outdoor exercise include:
- People are permitted to leave their homes to exercise outside once each day.
- People are allowed to meet with one other person from another household or support bubble for exercise in a public area, but 2 metres of social distance must be maintained.
- People should utilise parks, beaches, the countryside and other public spaces in their local area for exercise.
- Team sports that require gathering with more than one person outside of your household or support bubble are not permitted.
In addition to these rules, it is also important to keep yourself safe while exercising outdoors in the winter—especially when you are alone. Consider these precautions:
- Check the forecast and select attire that will protect you from cold stress, frostbite and hypothermia.
- Think about taking a break from work and exercising during the day to avoid being outside alone after dark.
- Tell a friend, family member or colleague about your exercise plans to ensure someone will know where you are if something goes wrong.
Contains public sector information published by the NHS and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
The content of this publication is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances or jurisdiction. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice from their own legal counsel. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. Content by Zywave, Inc. provided by TH March.