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Can I go for a walk? Your lockdown exercise questions, answered 

The Prime Minister says people can now go out to exercise  for example, on a run, walk or cycle – just once a day. Parks will remain open, subject to the approval of local authorities, but gyms, including outdoor gyms, play-parks and kiosks, will close. Police will have power to issue on the spot fines of £30 for meeting without good reason.

A government spokesman said: “Every citizen must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. The police already have an array of powers available to them to maintain public order, and will be granted additional powers to enforce social distancing and protect the public.”

Confusion surrounds where the public are still allowed to exercise, and how the police will check whether citizens are complying with the rules.

A: No. The PM’s instructions are that we must only exercise alone or with members of your household. Should we see a friend, we must maintain a minimum two metres’ gap and prolonged social contact is strictly in breach of current orders.

A: Children can hold any member of their own household’s hand under the Government’s rules, but Public Health England is urging increased hand washing.

A: As it stands, yes, the public can still ride horses as part of their once-daily outing. Casual riding has been stopped in France but not in the UK, Germany or Spain. Rupert Arnold, of the National Trainers Federation, says every single country is still exercising racehorses, however, even in Italy. Racehorses need exercise every day and the National Association of Racing Staff’s chief executive George McGrath says racing staff and work-riders should keep going to work if they feel comfortable to do so.

A: All golf courses have been ordered shut by England Golf. Public tennis courts have been closed by most local authorities and clubs, but for any still open, citizens would only be allowed to play against members of their own household.

A: The Government is keen for the public to avoid any areas that could become well-populated, so is advising runners to carefully plan their routes. Bristol has closed some public parks services, but other cities have yet to introduce restrictions.

A: For households with more than one occupier, dog walking duties can be split. But the Government is only allowing exercise once a day per person. To ensure social distancing is adhered to Michael Gove has added that ideally we should not take somebody else’s dog out.

A: There is no strong evidence to suggest that humans can catch the virus from dogs, but greeting animals is said to be inadvisable, and those who come into contact with animals should immediately wash their hands.

A: No. The Government is advising “to exercise locally” and that “no non-essential travel should be made”.

A: Playing football with your own children in the garden at home is fine, but police are likely to intervene if they spot any kickabouts in public parks.

A: Social distancing – which as the below graphic highlights can help stem the spread – rules out almost all competitive sport that does not take place between members of a household. No definitive list has been drawn up by Government, but golf courses, swimming pools and gyms have all been closed. The Prime Minister suggested running, cycling and walking.

A: They won’t, which is why many police believe the rule will be unenforceable.

A: Inadvisable. While allotments are not specifically cited, the Government says “outdoor leisure facilities and communal places within parks, including playgrounds must not be used”.

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