Scotland removes once-a-day lockdown exercise limit

10 May 2020, 15:23

The First Minister made the announcement on Sunday
The First Minister made the announcement on Sunday. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that people can now exercise more than once a day in Scotland following a Cobra meeting with Boris Johnson.

Scotland's First Minister said the changes would come into effect on Monday but there would be no other changes to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Ms Sturgeon said it was to be used for exercise only and should not be used for "sunbathing, picnics or barbecues".

She added: "The fact that you're allowed to exercise more than once is definitely not a license to start meeting up in groups at the park or at the beach.

"Doing that really does risk spreading this virus."

Lockdown in Scotland has also been extended for another three weeks until May 28, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced earlier this week.

Read more: Boris Johnson announces six new lockdown rules ahead of speech

The First Minister said at the daily Scottish Government press conference: “Let me be very blunt about the consequences if we were to do that. People will die unnecessarily. And instead of being able to loosen restrictions, hopefully, in the near future, we will be faced instead with having to tighten them.

“We must not take that risk.

“So for that reason, my basic message for Scotland remains the same as it has been. Please stay at home except for essential purposes.

“I have made clear, however, that the Scottish Government will keep what constitutes an ‘essential purpose’ under review, and that we were considering making one immediate change - to the guidance relating to exercise.

“I can confirm that the Scottish Cabinet met earlier this afternoon and agreed a change to that guidance.

“At present, you are only allowed to leave home to exercise once a day. From tomorrow, that once-a-day limit will be removed.

“So if you want to go for a walk more often - or to go for a run and also a walk - then you can do so.”

Read more: Boris Johnson to reveal five-stage warning scheme ahead of easing restrictions

The First Minister also asked the UK Government not deploy its new "stay alert" message north of the border.

The Scottish First Minister said the advice from her government remains to "stay at home" other than for buying food, getting medicine or exercising.

The First Minister added that the extension did not apply to those who have symptoms or are living with someone who is showing symptoms, or those who are in the shielding group.

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Earlier on Sunday Ms Sturgeon said Scotland would not be adopting "the PM's new slogan" and that she would continue to use the "stay home" message.

She tweeted: "The Sunday papers is the first I've seen of the PM's new slogan.

"It is of course for him to decide what's most appropriate for England, but given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage."

Read more: New 'stay alert' coronavirus slogan criticised ahead of PM's speech

A total of 1,857 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 10 on Saturday, the Scottish Government has announced.

Recent statistics show 13,486 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 181 from 13,305 the day before.

There are 82 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, a decrease of 11 on Saturday.

There are 1,484 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, including those who are in intensive care, a drop of 101 from the Saturday total of 1,585.

Since March 5, 3,100 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have been able to leave hospital, which includes 84 people since Saturday.