Can I go sledging or play in the snow during the new lockdown?

Harrogate covered in Snow Credit: Editorial

The new national lockdown, announced on Monday night, comes with a 'stay at home' message to combat the rapid rise in Coronavirus infections.

Government guidance says:

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

Snow has it much of the region Credit: Twitter/@avsybaby

But you are allowed out once a day for exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person.

So does this cover playing in the snow? It appears not.

The last lockdown fell during some of the warmest months of the year, and people took advantage to head to our parks to sunbathe.

But Matt Hancock told ITV News in April,

"Going out and sunbathing, I can totally understand why people want to do that in this sunny weather, but going out from your home helps spread the disease and instead you should stay home, help protect lives and the NHS, and that way we can come through this faster."

This time the lockdown falls in the coldest months of the year - we've already seen snow fall this week and more cold weather is forecast for the days ahead.

We approached the Department for Health to ask if children having snowball fights or sledging would be allowed and they told us this is the latest guidance in relation to this issue:

"It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting).

This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area."

These are the government rules on what counts as exercise:

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

· by yourself

· with the people you live with

· with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)

· in a childcare bubble where providing childcare

· or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

· parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests

· public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)

· the grounds of a heritage site

· playgrounds