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All the new rules on exercising and moving around in London

Time to reacquaint yourself with the park

Written by
Laura Richards

You may have found yourself asking some familiar (and weird!) questions this week. Like, ‘What constitutes daily exercise, now?’ and, ‘Can I pack a sandwich for my walk without getting some serious side eye?' So here’s the latest info on what you can and can’t leave the house for in London (and England), starting from 12.01am on Thursday November 5.  

Daily exercise

Yes, you can go out for physical activity and fresh air. And for this version of lockdown, there’s no limit on how many times you can leave the house – nor for how long.

‘You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or one person from another household,’ say the latest government guidelines, before listing parks, beaches, the countryside, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments and playgrounds as appropriate outdoor settings. 

Although travelling outside your area is discouraged, you’re also allowed to make a short journey in order to exercise – to a local place in nature, for example. You can’t meet up with people from outside your bubble in your own back garden, though. 

Team sports are officially off. Under the new rules, you can only meet up with one other person from outside your household bubble in outdoor settings. 

And no, you can’t go to the gym anymore. All gyms and indoor sports facilities will be closing their doors from Thursday for the four-week stretch.  

Shopping for necessities 

You’re probably in a nice little routine with your shopping by now after learnings from Lockdown 1, whether that’s still a supermarket sweep, a regular delivery slot or by supporting your local deli that strived to keep the neighbourhood fed in times of strife. Well, the rules are much the same as last time, with shopping for essentials a legitimate reason for leaving the house. 

However, the government is asking people to limit trips out for essentials and medicine, making them as infrequently as possible.

It’s important to note that all supermarkets have their own guidelines in place for best in-store practice, but you must wear a face mask in public indoor spaces. 

Necessities include luxury items and alcohol, don’t worry. And popping out to pick up takeaway food is also A-okay.  

Getting to work 

Key workers, essential workers and those who cannot work from home are allowed freedom of movement to get to their jobs and to then get home. That includes people delivering goods to the vulnerable and those volunteering. 

Childcare and education 

New to Lockdown 2, you’re allowed to leave the house for education purposes. Nurseries and early-year settings are remaining open this time to aid parents in lockdown – whether working from home or not.

School and university classrooms will also remain open. 

However, youth clubs will be postponed for the lockdown duration. 

Other reasons to leave the home you might not know about 

If you’ve had an argument with those you’re meant to be safe at home with, you’re allowed to move to a friend’s home for a ‘cooling-off’ period. With incidences of domestic violence on the rise in this difficult year, this is one move we can fully get behind. 

More detail is expected to arrive from the government in the coming days on other reasons people may be permitted to leave the house. For example, in the last lockdown you could move house, so long as it was a legitimate move for more than two weeks. And you were also able to take pets for emergency veterinary appointments. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we learn more. 

But above all else, we should stipulate that you shouldn’t leave the house at all if you’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate, if you’ve tested positive or if you are showing any symptoms. Just remember that if in doubt you should stay at home and save lives

Here are some top exercises you don’t have to leave the house for.

Check out if one of these scenic London walks is near you for your daily exercise. 

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