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  1. ITV Report

Social distancing in the Midlands: Are people still breaking the rules?

Kayakers were allegedly told to return home when they showed up to Victoria Embankment in Nottingham over the weekend. Credit: ITV News Central

The Midlands region is no doubt noticeably quieter than when the coronavirus lockdown was first put into place two weeks ago.

Before Boris Johnson closed bars and restaurants and told people to stay at home, the town of Matlock Bath in the Peak District was full of tourists.

This weekend residents say that people are finally starting to realise that they absolutely must not visit the town.

Claire Hall from the town said that to get the message through to people that now is not the time to visit Matlock has been very reassuring for residents.

We are obviously a popular tourist resort, so to get the message through to people that now is not the time to visit has been really reassuring as residents and hopefully, the sooner everybody can do the staying at home to protect the lives of the NHS, the sooner we can get the country back up and running as normal.

– Claire Hall, Matlock resident

Footage also showed the region's city streets looking quiet as people opted to stay at home over the weekend.

People could be seen enjoying their "daily exercise" with many out for walks, runs and cycle rides, sticking to the two metre social distancing rule.

However, as most people follow the guidelines and stay at home in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, are others likely to ruin it for the rest of us?

Although it wasn't quite the heatwave we'd hoped for, the nice weather at the weekend did bring a lot of people out to Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham, and not all of them were sticking to social distancing.

At the city's Cannon Hill Park, walkers kept a safe distance from joggers, who in turn stayed apart from skateboarders and cyclist- But some were spotted sitting and soaking up the sun.

Over at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, some daily exercise routines also included a picnic.

And while most people stuck fast to the government's instructions, some decided to adopt their own definition of exercise.

These kayakers were apparently told to go home when they showed up to Victoria Embankment in Nottingham.

Sunday was the hottest day of the year, with temperatures reaching almost 20C in some parts of the region.

The government are now worried that people are taking advantage of being able to leave the house to exercise and are using the time to instead sit and enjoy nicer weather.

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The Health Secretary warned on Sunday (April 5) that if people don't follow the coronavirus lockdown restrictions then outdoor exercise could be banned.

Matt Hancock said that the change would not be imminent, but if people continued to disobey the rules the government would be forced to react with harsher lockdown measures.