Search

Outdoor exercise may be banned if people keep ignoring lockdown rules, says health secretary

PUBLISHED: 11:05 05 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:25 05 April 2020

Health secretary Matt Hancock answering questions from the media via a video link during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture:10 Downing Street/PA Wire

Health secretary Matt Hancock answering questions from the media via a video link during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture:10 Downing Street/PA Wire

Health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that we may face tougher restrictions during lockdown if people keep breaking the rules.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that public sunbathing is banned in lockdown. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA WireHealth Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that public sunbathing is banned in lockdown. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Mr Hancock has warned the government may restrict people’s freedom to exercise outdoors if it is clear that people are flouting the rules.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We’ve said it’s OK to go for exercise because both the physical and mental health benefits of getting some exercise are really important.

“I don’t want to have to take away exercise as a reason to leave home... if too many people are not following the rules.

“At the moment the vast majority of people are (following the guidance) but people should not break the rules because that will mean that the virus spreads more and then we might have to take further action.”

Sir Keir Starmer the newly elected leader of the Labour Party. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA WireSir Keir Starmer the newly elected leader of the Labour Party. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

At the moment the government allow people to have one hours exercise a day while keeping a minimum of two meters away from other people who are not part of your household.

READ MORE: ‘Stay at home’ plea as public sunbathing is banned in coronavirus lockdown

Mr Hancock added: “I think this example of exercise is a really important one, because we’ve said because of the positive benefits to your physical and your mental health that it’s OK to exercise on your own or with members of your own household.

“But if the result of that is that too many people go out and flout the other rules because they say ‘well if I can exercise then it’s fine for me to do other things’ then I’m afraid we will have to take action.

Embed:

“So my message is really clear. If you don’t want us to have to take the step to ban exercise of all forms outside of your own home then you’ve got to follow the rules and the vast majority people are following the rules.

“Let’s not have a minority spoiling it for everybody.”

READ MORE: Queen to acknowledge nation’s ‘pain’ in address about coronavirus crisis

Newly-elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour will back the Government if ministers toughen the coronavirus lockdown measures.

When asked if he would support further restrictions on exercise if people flout the rules, Sir Keir said: “Yes we would - we do have to take whatever steps are necessary, and social distancing, staying indoors is really difficult for people, it’s particularly difficult if you don’t have a garden, if you’re in a flat; and I know there are many people in overcrowded accommodation.

“But we’ve got to get through this and every time people break the guidance from the Government they put other people at risk.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Diss Mercury. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Diss Mercury