UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus lockdown: Government updates guidance for exercising outdoors – telling people to ‘stay local’

By March 28, 2020 No Comments
People have been told to stay local

Anyone exercising outside their home should “stay local” and “not travel unnecessarily”, according to updated government guidance.

Members of the public have been criticised for flooding green spaces and beauty spots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last weekend, Snowdonia National Park said it had experienced its “busiest visitor day in living memory”, while many also headed to second homes and campervans in the Scottish Highlands.

Avon and Somerset Police officers chat to people in a park in Bristol
Image:
Avon and Somerset Police officers chat to people in a park in Bristol

The Lake District, West Wittering beach in Chichester and Cornwall also reported higher visitor numbers.

Derbyshire Police have defended using drones to deter people from flouting coronavirus lockdown rules by walking in the Peak District.

The force filmed people in pairs rambling in Curbar Edge on Wednesday, saying going to remote areas for exercise did not count as “essential travel”.

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Meanwhile, officers from Avon and Somerset Police have been conducting random vehicle checks in Bristol to ensure only essential journeys are being made during the crisis.

Civil liberties group Big Brother Watch branded the drone move “sinister” and “counter-productive”.

But Superintendent Steve Pont told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We wanted to reinforce the message of stay home and a number of people aren’t staying home, they’re finding excuses or loopholes, reasons not to stay home – and we just wanted to illustrate that this is the wrong thing to do.”

Police are stopping motorists
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Police are stopping motorists

He said officers are “here to apply the law that the government makes”.

“The point is that the government legislation said if you go out to take exercise, you should make your time away from home as short as possible, it didn’t say as short as possible unless you want to go for a drive in the Peak District.”



Derbyshire police drone footage



Derbyshire Police use drone to catch hikers

It comes as new powers were announced on Thursday to allow police to enforce lockdown rules brought in to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.

The rules will be in place for an emergency period which must be reviewed at least once every 21 days, starting on 16 April.

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