Outdoor exercise may be banned if people keep ignoring lockdown rules, says health secretary
- Credit: PA
Health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that we may face tougher restrictions during lockdown if people keep breaking the rules.
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.”
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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.
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.
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“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.
“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.”
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.”