WITH the sun set to shine this weekend, many Brits will be tempted to get in the car and head somewhere isolated for their daily hour of exercise.
But strict rules on "non-essential travel" remain in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus – here's what you need to know.
Can you drive to take exercise?
After much confusion, the government clarified last week that you should "stay local" for your daily hour of exercise.
The updated guidelines state that anyone exercising outside their home during the lockdown should “not travel unnecessarily”.
They add: "If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air."
It comes after people have been spotted driving out to the country for their daily walks.
North Yorkshire Police have been manning checkpoints and stopping vehicles to ask where drivers are going.
And pamphlets distributed by Avon and Somerset Police recently said that people "should not be driving to a location away from home" for their bit of exercise.
Derbyshire Police were heavily criticised after posting a video on Twitter with drone footage from the Peak District, in which they criticised a couple out walking their dog.
Could you be fined?
You can be fined if you are driving far outside your local vicinity for exercise, as it is not listed as "essential travel".
If you cannot provide the police with a valid travel reason, you could be issued with a £60 spot fine, reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks.
The fine will double to £120 for a second offence.
Road blocks have also been set up in Plymouth, Devon and in Cornwall, while across the country police have started using checkpoints to stop vehicles and ask drivers if their journey is essential.
Can you go to the park?
Most public parks remain open although "communal spaces" within them are shut .
The government guidelines state: "Parks will remain open only for individuals and households to exercise once a day.
"Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches will be closed."
What are the rules on driving during lockdown?
There are no rules banning anybody from driving their car during this time.
But under the government's lockdown rules, you can only get in the car for the following reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- one form of exercise a day – (a run, walk, or cycle) – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and this cannot be done from home
If you are a key worker, you will also be allowed to drive your child to school in addition to commuting.
How long will the lockdown last?
Johnson announced that these measures are in place for three weeks and they will be reviewed afterwards.
The length of the lockdown will depend on how the UK responds to the measures.
If coronavirus cases and deaths drop, the lockdown measures could be lifted when next reviewed.
And in the government briefing of March 29, Dr Jenny Harries outlined more about the timeframes in which restrictions could be reviewed and ultimately lifted.
She said: “If we stop, then all our efforts will be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak.
“So over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review, see where we are going, keep that lid on.
Harries then clarified that she was not stating that the lockdown would remain in place for six months, with a period of two to three months more realistic.
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