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Wales Alert level 4: Sport, exercise and outdoor activity

Sport, exercise and outdoor activity: Please ensure that you help to keep others safe by adhering to the latest Government Guidelines relating to exercising and outdoor activity.

 

Sport, exercise and outdoor activity

Can I leave home to exercise?

Yes. Exercise is important for physical and mental health, and you can leave home as often as you like to exercise. Exercise should be undertaken locally and must start and finish at your home or the home of your support bubble.

You must not drive to a location away from home, except in limited circumstances (see below).

Who can I exercise with?

You can exercise in public outdoor places with:

  • members of your household or support bubble, or
  • with people from one other household, as long as the total number of people exercising is no more than 4 (excluding any carers or children under 11 from either of those households)

You should ensure that you maintain social distancing from the people you are exercising with if they are not in your household or support bubble. You should also be mindful that exercise must start and finish from your home. You should not travel to meet with someone outside of your household or support bubble.

What kind of exercise is permitted?

There are no legal limits on this, but in practice this is constrained by other restrictions at alert level 4, such as the closure of leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools. As one of the purposes of the restrictions is to reduce pressure on the Welsh NHS. You should avoid activities that involve a significant degree of risk (for example swimming or other exercise at sea, or in lakes, rivers or other waterways).

Are there any limits on how far I can run or cycle for exercise?

There are no limits on the distance you can travel during exercise, though the nearer you stay to your home, the better. Your exercise must start and finish from your home, or the home of the members of your support bubble.

Does taking a walk count as exercise?

Absolutely. All time spent outdoors is beneficial, as long as people avoid interacting with people they do not live with.

I use a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get about. If I want to go out, does this count as exercise?

Absolutely. All time spent outdoors is beneficial, as long as people avoid interacting with people they do not live with.

Can I exercise by going fishing or horse riding?

This is not specifically prohibited. However, you must not drive to get to somewhere to exercise, and the need to carry sports equipment isn’t regarded as a justification on its own for driving in these circumstances. This will mean in practice most people cannot do these things while we are in alert level 4.

Can I play tennis or golf?

Golf and tennis clubs are required to close in alert level 4, as are golf courses and tennis courts. 

Can I go hunting?

No. Leaving your home to exercise should not be used as an excuse to undertake other activity which is not permitted. The purpose of leaving home must be to exercise.

Traditional hunts such as Boxing Day hunts also generally involve large gatherings of people which are also prohibited as they create a significant risk of passing on the virus.

Are parks open?

Parks are allowed to remain open for outdoor exercise. You can visit parks with other people for exercise purposes as long as you follow the rules on who you can exercise with.

Some parts of parks such as sports courts, skate parks, bowling greens and golf courses (including putting, pitch and putt or miniature golf) will be closed.

Are children’s playgrounds open?

Yes. The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and keeping parks and playgrounds open supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.

However, the risk cannot be eliminated, and parents and guardians are encouraged to ensure playgrounds do not get too busy, and take responsibility for social distancing. In particular, you must not arrange to meet with other households at playgrounds and should not socialise there.

We also encourage frequent handwashing or sanitisation, not eating or drinking in parks, wiping down equipment with your own wipes, and maintaining low numbers within parks and on equipment by taking turns or using parks at less busy times.

Can children play outside in the street in their neighbourhoods?  

Yes, if they do not have access to other outdoor space, if it is safe to do so and if they are supervised appropriately by adults. The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and being able to play outside supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.

Children can play outside with members of their own household or support bubble but should not arrange to meet with children from other households. This applies to under 11s as well as to over 11s. Where children are old enough to understand the rules, they should be encouraged to follow them and to avoid mixing with other children outside their household or support bubble.

This also applies where children are in the same ‘school or class bubble’. This is because play at school is likely to be more controlled and organised with less likelihood of coming into unintended contact with people from outside of the bubble. 

Can I drive somewhere to exercise?

Exercise should be undertaken locally – from home or as close as possible to the home. In general this must not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose. No journeys of any significant distance should be taken, for example, just in order to exercise in the countryside or at beauty spots. This is the law and not just guidance. Police can fine people who travel beyond their local area to beauty spots.

Disabled people or people with a physical or mental illness or impairment  may, however, need to travel from their home in order to be able to exercise. For example, some wheelchair users may not be able to start to exercise immediately outside their homes for practical access reasons, and may need to drive to a suitable flat location, such as a park, for this purpose.

In these circumstances the journey should be to the nearest convenient accessible location and no long journeys should be undertaken unless absolutely necessary.

The need to carry sports equipment isn’t regarded as a justification on its own for driving in these circumstances.

Can I do other things while out for exercise?

Yes, as long as they are also permitted, and do not involve gathering with people outside of the permitted rules. Combining exercise with walking a dog or going to a shop to buy food, for example, is considered to be reasonable.

Leaving your home to exercise should not be used as an excuse to undertake other activity which is not permitted. The purpose of leaving home is to exercise.

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