New lockdown rules on exercise, parks and working: What the new guidelines say

10 May 2020, 19:15 | Updated: 10 May 2020, 20:38

Boris Johnson has announced new rules on sitting in parks
Boris Johnson has announced new lockdown rules on sitting in parks. Picture: PA

By Adrian Sherling

Boris Johnson has revealed unlimited exercise, permission to sit in parks and a return to work for workers who can't work from home as he announced a small easing of coronavirus lockdown guidelines. These are the new rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was too soon to loosen lockdown guidelines any further, in order to keep the infection rate low and avoid a second spike of coronavirus, which could overwhelm the NHS.

But he revealed there will be some slow and gradual loosening of the lockdown guidelines to start to get Britain moving again. Here is what you need to know about the new rules.

Who can go to work under new lockdown rules?

What are the new lockdown exercise rules?

You will be allowed unlimited exercise outdoors, as long as it obeys social distancing guidelines.

This means you can exercise for as long as you want and even drive somewhere to exercise away from your house.

The new guidelines even say you can play sports, such as football, cricket and frisbee, as long as it is only with other members of your household.

LBC's Westminster correspondent revealed he understands golf courses, tennis clubs and fishing venues will be allowed to open from Wednesday, providing social distancing rules are enforced.

These will come into force on Wednesday and replaces the previous guidelines, which only allowed one form of exercise per day.

READ MORE: How to look after your mental health during lockdown

People will be allowed unlimited exercise, as long as they stay 2m apart
New lockdown rules: People will be allowed unlimited exercise, as long as they stay 2m apart. Picture: PA

Can we go to parks under new rules?

From Wednesday, people will be allowed to sit in the sun in their local parks, as long as they remain two metres away from all people from outside their household.

You can also meet up with one person from outside your household, as long as you remain two metres away from each other. This wasn't mentioned by Boris Johnson, but has been briefed to journalists.

This has been one of the more contentious parts of the lockdown, with police regularly having to clear over-crowded green spaces.

Some parks in London have had to be closed due to people breaking the social distancing guidelines, but it is now hoped these will be able to re-open again.

Police will no longer be moving people on if they obey social distancing guidelines in parks
Police will no longer be moving people on if they obey social distancing guidelines in parks. Picture: PA

What are the new lockdown rules for driving?

Previous guidelines said that people had to exercise close to their home. Police guidance stated that people could only drive to another location to exercise if they spent more time exercising than driving there and back.

But the Prime Minister said that Britons would now be allowed to drive to other locations to exercise. So you will be allowed to drive to a nearby beauty spot to take your exercise instead of being restricted to your immediate neighbourhood.

Derbyshire Police came under fire early in the lockdown when they used drones to catch people who had driven to national parks to exercise - even though they were well away from other people. This will now be allowed.

Public Transport

There have been no changes to the guidance on public transport. People have been told only to use it for essential travel and if there are no other methods of transport they can use.

Boris Johnson said in his broadcast: "We want it to be safe for you to get to work. So you should avoid public transport if at all possible, because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited."

People will still be asked to only use public transport for essential travel
People will still be asked to only use public transport for essential travel. Picture: PA


There have been changes to the messaging around working. Employees who are not able to work from home are now being encouraged to return to work safely.

This means construction and manufacturing workers are being encouraged to go back to safe working environments.

The government has released guidance to workplaces for how to make it "Covid Secure". This includes stopping any sharing of tools or pens, stopping hot desks and ensuring workers can remain at least two metres apart and not face each other throughout the day.

READ MORE: How businesses can open with social distancing guidelines

Fines for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules

While lockdown guidelines have been loosened, the Prime Minister announced that fines will be increased for anyone breaking these rules.

Among the things that authorities will crack down on are people mixing with other households and not remaining two metres apart at all times when in public.

Boris Johnson warned: "You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them."

It hasn't been revealed how much the fines will be. Previously, the fines were £30 for the first time, doubling for each offence.

READ MORE: Should you report your neighbour for breaking social distancing guidelines?

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Schools will not open yet. However, the Prime Minister laid out a timeline for when and how schools can return.

Boris Johnson said: "In step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

"Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays."