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In the first lockdown, Brits were initially allowed outside to exercise once a day. Then, the Prime Minister approved unlimited exercise outdoors. What are the rules on exercise for the second lockdown, and can you exercise outside when self-isolating?
From Thursday, November 5, England is going back into lockdown for four weeks.
The rules are simple and involve staying at home except for specific purposes.
Gyms in England will be closing throughout the lockdown alongside pubs, restaurants, non-essential shops and places of worship.
Closing these places limits social contact and therefore makes it far more difficult for the virus to spread further.
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When you exercise, you breathe rapidly and deeply and this can easily produce droplets that can infect others.
In gyms, people touch surfaces that other people have touched and then touch their faces.
However, the Government understands that exercise is crucial for our mental health and physical health.
That’s why you are still allowed to exercise outdoors whenever you like.
The rules state: “This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes.”
One of these purposes is “to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).”
This means you can run, walk or do any other workout in outdoor public spaces including parks, beaches, countryside, public gardens where allowed, playgrounds, or allotments.
You cannot meet a friend or family member in a private garden though, so exercising in your private garden must be done alone.
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Self-isolation is different to social distancing and shielding and the rules for people who are social distancing are different.
Self-isolation is a legal requirement and you could be fined if you don’t self-isolate when told to.
You must self-isolate if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- you’ve tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
- you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
- someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
- you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
- you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk – see GOV.UK: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK
Can you exercise outside when self-isolating?
You cannot exercise outside if you are self-isolating.
If you have a garden, you can exercise there or you can exercise indoors.
If you are self-isolating you must not go outside at all for 10 to 14 days depending on your situation.
You can’t go to work, school, or other public places, and you can’t use public transport or go out to get food or medicine.
You can’t have visitors in your home, except for people providing essential care.
How to exercise indoors
Lucky for those self-isolating, it is easy to work out indoors with little space.
If you are overweight or have problems with your joints, you may be concerned because walking outdoors is off-limits.
However, there are plenty of Youtube workout videos that are specifically designed to get your 10,000 steps in on the spot.
You could also try yoga, HIIT, barre, pilates, or dancing.
Plenty of gyms, such as UN1T, FLEX Chelsea & Pilates PT are offering online classes.
All you have to do is pay a small membership fee in order to access the classes.
Some are live and some are pre-recorded.
Some gyms are also renting out equipment for the four week period such as bikes and weights.
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