Covid marshal stops jogger for ‘breathing heavily’ on run

14 January 2021, 11:42

By Maddie Goodfellow

This was the moment a jogger was told to stop running by a Covid marshall because he was "breathing heavily."

Gary Purnell took to Twitter after he was stopped and questioned whilst running alone along the banks of the Thames.

He said a Covid marshal told him he was advised not to run there under new measures being enforced, and that his breathing was "too heavy".

Mr Purnell said he was out on his daily hour of exercise, and that he was "following government advice".

When he confronted the marshal about the "crazy" situation, he was told he had been stopped due to his heavy breathing.

In the video clip, which was filmed in Hammersmith, Mr Purnell asks the marshal: "So why can't I run along here? Explain why we can't run?"

The marshal then replies: "Because you are breathing heavily."

Read more: Covid Marshal scheme 'won't quite work as advertised'

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This was the moment a jogger was told to stop running because he was ‘breathing heavily’
This was the moment a jogger was told to stop running because he was ‘breathing heavily’. Picture: Triangle News

Mr Purnell questions this further, asking: "I'm breathing heavily? You don't have to wear a mask outside. In the Government advice it doesn't say I can't run."

The marshal responds: "I can't stop you, I can only tell you that you can't."

The jogger continues: "So you're telling me I cannot run along here, along the waterfront where everyone is walking. And you stopped me to tell me that I need a mask."

The marshal then appears to contradict his earlier statement, saying: "Not a mask."

Mr Purnell replies: "Where did the announcement say that I cannot run? The Government said I'm allowed one hour a day exercise. And you are stopping me from running."

In a second clip posted to Twitter, Mr Purnell confronts the man's supervisor and requests an explanation as to why he has been stopped.

The supervisor can be heard telling him that he "can run" but "it is a problem when the people pass you by."

Taking to Twitter, Mr Purnell wrote: "I was just stopped in London, along the Thames. I was just simply running - daily exercise - when a Covid marshal decided to stop me for running, and for breathing heavily."

It comes after London mayor Sadiq Khan told LBC over 10,000 Londoners have now died from Covid-19, as he called for tougher restrictions.

Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty, the London Mayor said: "It's heartbreaking that it's come to this, and this epidemic is far worse than it was back in Spring.

"The pressures on the NHS are far higher, yet the lockdown measures are much lighter.

"And so the leader of the London Councils which represent the 32 boroughs and myself have written again to the Prime Minister pleading with him to have additional restrictions on our city.

"I think that's the best way to save lives and to stop the NHS being overwhelmed."