'Vague' coronavirus lockdown exercise rules leave many confused as police deal with breaches

  • Watch: People in Falmouth give their views on Covid-19 rules regarding exercise.

Police in the West Country say they have dealt with hundreds of Covid-19 breaches since the third national lockdown started - including people mixing socially.

The rules allow people to exercise once a day, provided this is done locally - and not outside someone’s village, town or city.

This has not stopped some people from attempting to drive vast distances to meet others - like the two groups who drove 170 miles from Coventry to Lulworth Estate in Dorset for “exercise”.

Police issued fines to people who had driven from Coventry to Lulworth Estate for 'exercise'. Credit: Lulworth Estate / Facebook

They were fined for their actions, but many others remain confused by what is and is not allowed when it comes to outdoor exercise - and reports suggest senior police figures are now in talks with Government officials to tighten existing rules.


People exercising in Falmouth told ITV News West Country the rules are “vague” and could do with further guidance.

“Like most of the Covid-19 guidance, they [the Government] leave it vague so it’s on the individual to get it wrong,” one man said. “I think the Government hasn’t been particularly clear.”

Another jogger suggested: “If they could say something like within your county or within a certain number of miles, that would be ideal because it is quite ambiguous at the moment.”

There have been a number of reported Covid-19 breaches in the West Country since the national lockdown was imposed on 4 January.

Earlier this week, police in Brixham stopped a car which had travelled almost 200 miles from Wolverhampton - without a valid excuse.

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said “local means local”.

“You should be able to walk to most places, particularly in Devon and Cornwall, around your market town or wherever,” he said.

“You really shouldn’t be driving. You can, but that doesn’t mean you should.”

What are the rules?

According to the Government's website, you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary.

You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person

  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home

  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person (once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area)

  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one

  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)

  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

'Staying local' local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

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