The new measures in England mean members of the public should limit the amount of time they spend outdoors and it is now against the law to meet people outside one’s household or support bubble “for the purpose of recreation or leisure (eg a picnic or a social meeting)”.
Exercise is allowed but this must be limited to once per day and only in your local area. You can exercise outdoors with one other person from another household.
When exercising around other people you should stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble where possible.
Government guidance on exercise in England
You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
- by yourself
- with the people you live with
- with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
- in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
- or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household
Public outdoor places include:
- parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
- public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
- the grounds of a heritage site
See more on Gov.uk
Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed in lockdown and will be joined by outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools.
Archery, driving and shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.
Exercise in Scotland
Rules around exercise in Scotland are more relaxed than those in England. Those north of the border are allowed to exercise with one other person from a different household outdoors and facilities like outdoor gyms, tennis courts and golf courses can remain open.
However, members of the public have been told to “stay at home as much as possible” and only leave the house for an “essential purpose” which includes exercise as well as grocery shopping, education, childcare or to support the vulnerable.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is essential that we further limit interaction between different households to stem the spread and bring the situation back under control, while we vaccinate more people.
“In short, we must return for a period to a situation much closer to the lockdown of last March.”
Government guidance on exercise in Scotland
A maximum of 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors for sport or exercise. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
The members of an individual household or extended household can meet outdoors for sport or exercise.
You can travel for local outdoor sport or exercise such as meeting another person, walking, cycling, golf or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area), as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households.
Indoor sports facilities are closed.
Outdoor gyms can remain open.
Outdoor non-contact sports such as golf and tennis are permitted for all age groups provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
Organised sport and exercise can only take place within a single household group, or a group containing no more than 2 people from 2 different households.
Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
See more on Scot.gov
Exercise in Wales
Unlike England and Scotland, Wales has not entered a new lockdown per se but it does remain in strict “Alert level 4” restrictions.
This means that members of the public in Wales must stay at home except for very limited purposes and they cannot meet anyone outside their household.
Similarly to England, there are tight restrictions on sports facilities, with golf courses, tennis courts, gyms and other indoor venues all closed.
There is no legal limit on exercise in Wales although people are encouraged to stay as close to home as possible.
“Your exercise should start and finish from your home and you should exercise alone or with a member of your household or support bubble,” explains guidance on Gov.Wales.
Exercise in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is already in partial lockdown and is expected to announce strict new measures in line with those in place in England, following Mr Johnson’s announcement.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “The message will be stay at home unless you have a reason to leave home,” she said.
Government guidance on exercise in Northern Ireland
All sports facilities such as leisure centres, gyms, health clubs, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios must close.
Other exercise facilities, including activity centres, equestrian centres (access for the purpose of animal welfare is permitted), marinas, and venues relating to motor sport and water sport must also remain closed.
Only individual or household outdoor exercise is permitted. Physical activity such as walking, running, cycling, horse riding, or just walking the dog, bring many health benefits.
You cannot participate in personal one-to-one training sessions or group activities such as running or cycling.
Physical education delivered by or for schools, pre-schools and other education providers is permitted to continue.
See more on NIDirect.gov.uk