How far can I travel for exercise?

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson reinstated lockdown measures on Monday, January 4, warning Britons to stay at home. There are a limited number of essential reasons you can leave your home under lockdown measures, including for work, to buy essential groceries, to care for someone or for exercise.

There is no end date as yet for lockdown measures, with cases of coronavirus still continuing to soar across the UK.

In recent days, policing of lockdown measures have been scrutinised following a £200 fine issued by Derbyshire Police.

The fine was given two women who drove separately to go for a walk at a remote beauty spot located around five miles from their homes.

Since the implementation of lockdown rules, Britons have been told to “stay local” – but what exactly does this mean?

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How far can I travel for exercise?

Britons are permitted to leave home once per day for exercise, and if alone can meet one member of another household – so long as social distancing is adhered to.

You can exercise in an outdoor public place, which includes parks, beaches and forests.

You can do so either by yourself, with people you live with, your support bubble or with one other person from another household.

Children under five-years-old are not included in the limit.

However, there are rules about how far you can go to exercise, with guidance saying to “stay local”.

The Government guidance says: “If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work.

“Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.”

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “The term ‘local area’ in this context has not been legally defined.

“However, people should be sensible about this – if you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live – unless there is a justifiable reason not to do so (for example, you need to travel further for work or to avoid harm).”

So rather than driving to your preferred park, try to find an area around your home you can exercise in.

Today Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “every flex can be fatal” when discussing the Derbyshire Police fining two women £200 each after driving five miles from their home for a walk in Derbyshire.

He told Sky News: “Absolutely I’m going to back the police.

“Because the challenge here is that every flex can be fatal… these rules are not there as boundaries to be pushed, they’re the limit of what people should be doing.”

Asked if people should expect to be fined for driving for a walk, he said: “I don’t know the specific circumstances and I support the police in doing their very difficult job.

“They’re right to take very seriously the rules we’ve brought in.

“Every flexibility can be fatal… this virus is so contagious it passes on and as we’ve seen it’s deadly.”

Police forces across the country have revealed they have been more active in dealing with breaches.

North Wales Police said its rural crime officers had dealt with people breaching coronavirus rules at Moel Famau in Flintshire, including those who had come from England and other parts of Wales.

Norfolk Police said it had fined a man and a woman who drove more than 120 miles from their home in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire to Horsey in Norfolk to look at a seal colony.

Wiltshire Police chief constable Kier Pritchard also warned that those breaching Covid-19 rules would face enforcement action “much quicker”.

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