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COVID-19: How far can you go for exercise during lockdown? Clarity urged after Boris Johnson’s bike ride | UK News



CREDIT - - Pic: Shutterstock

Boris Johnson cycling in London, Britain - 05 Oct 2006
Boris Johnson

5 Oct 2006
Transport, Politician, Alone, Personality

Boris Johnson was spotted cycling seven miles from Downing Street, raising questions as to how far you can go for exercise under lockdown rules.

Government guidance states that people in England should “stay local” when leaving home, which is only allowed for a few essential reasons, including exercise once a day and shopping for basic necessities.

It adds: “Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.”

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What was the PM seen doing?

The PM was seen cycling at the Olympic Park in east London on Sunday, the Evening Standard reported – seven miles from his home in Westminster, and three boroughs away.

Number 10 has refused to reveal whether he cycled there or was driven to the park to cycle.

A spokesman added: “The PM has exercised within the COVID rules and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”

Boris Johnson, here in 2006, was often seen on his bike around London before he became PM

Does this mean everyone can exercise seven miles from home?

Cycling seven miles and back would not be too long a ride for many cyclists.

But, without a specific distance limit in the rules, this appears to have allowed for different interpretations.

Derbyshire Police were criticised over the weekend for fining two women £200 for driving five miles from home, separately, to go for a walk.

They have now dropped the fine and apologised to the women, but that – and now the PM’s cycling – has led to a debate over the guidance.

Jessica Allen (left) and friend Eliza Moore were fined by police in Derbyshire. This picture was taken near to their homes in Ashby de la Zouch
Jessica Allen (left) and friend Eliza Moore were fined by police in Derbyshire

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said Mr Johnson’s bike ride was not against the law.

However, she told the BBC “local” is a “relative term” and, for her, means “if you can, go for your exercise from your front door and come back to that front door”.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron’s constituency is in the Lake District, where he said police are reporting that people have been travelling hundreds of miles to reach the beauty spot – but he also has constituents asking if they will be fined for driving five minutes to a local park.

He said he has written to the PM calling for clearer guidance on exercise.

Police presence before a proposed anti-lockdown protest in Clapham Common, London.
Police presence before a proposed anti-lockdown protest in Clapham Common, London

‘Shouldn’t he stay in Westminster?’

With the rules stating you should stay in your village, town, or part of the city, the PM’s seven-mile trip has come under fire.

However, with villages being smaller than towns and parts of cities, does that mean people living in villages have a smaller radius of where they can exercise?

Labour has criticised Mr Johnson’s cycle ride, with Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter saying: “Once again it is ‘do as I say, not as I do’, from the prime minister.”

And a woman who said she saw the PM in the Olympic Park, said she was “shocked to see him cycling around looking so care-free”.

She told the PA news agency: “Also, considering he’s advising everyone to stay at home and not leave their area, shouldn’t he stay in Westminster and not travel to other boroughs?”

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PM: ‘Now is the moment for maximum vigilance’

What are the rules in the UK’s other nations?


The country is under Level 4 – equivalent to England’s lockdown – with the guidance saying there are no limits on the distance you can travel during exercise, “though the nearer you stay to home, the better”.

It says you should start and finish from your home.

But, like in England, there have been incidents where people have been fined for exercising too far from home.

On Saturday, a mother was fined for driving 17 miles to Aber Falls in Snowdonia National Park, where she said there were hardly any other people.

She said she believed she had been following the rules and thought it was better than walking down to the beach near her home, where she said there were about 40 families the following day.

Snowdonia is a popular place for hiking but rules in Wales state you should start and finish exercising from home. File pic
Snowdonia is a popular place for hiking but rules in Wales state you should start and finish exercising from home. File pic


The mainland and Skye are under a Level 4 lockdown, which states that you can travel for exercise that starts and finishes at the same place.

But the rules are more specific as they say the place where you start and finish “can be up to five miles from the boundary of your local authority area”.

So, as long as you know exactly where the boundary of your local authority area is, you are within the rules if you remain five miles from there.

A man taking his daily exercise while walking his dog alone in an empty Scottish park.
The public park is in Dumfries and Galloway, south west Scotland.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus members of the public must social distance and only go out to exercise once a day.
People in most of Scotland can travel five miles out of their local authority boundary to exercise

Northern Ireland

The rules are slightly more clear in Northern Ireland, which is under a six-week lockdown that started on Boxing Day.

It says you should not travel more than 10 miles from your home to exercise.

If there are crowds when you arrive at the place you want to exercise from, you should find an alternative place, the rules add.

However, it does not say how far you can walk or cycle from that place.

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COVID-19: England’s COVID infection rate decreases slightly but remains high – ONS | World News



COVID-19: England's COVID infection rate decreases slightly but remains high - ONS | World News

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England has decreased slightly but remains high, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Around 1 in 55 people who are not in care homes, hospitals or other institutional settings had the virus in the week ending 16 January.

In the last full infection survey published two weeks ago, 1 in 50 people had the virus – showing there has been a small decrease, although infection rates still remain high.

Worryingly, infection rates in Northern Ireland jumped from 1 in 200 in the previous survey to 1 in 60.

Rates in Scotland and Wales have levelled off, with 1 in 100 and 1 in 70 people infected respectively.

In England, London and the North East still have the highest infection rates, with about 1 in 35 people estimated to have the virus in the capital.

However, there was some good news as the percentage of people infected with the new variant has fallen in London, the South East and the East of England.

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COVID-19: Holidays to Spain could be delayed ‘until end of summer’ | World News



Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reportedly said 70% of the population will need to be vaccinated

Britons hoping to escape to Spain could have their holiday plans cancelled following reports the Spanish prime minister said the country would not welcome international tourists until the “end of summer”.

Speaking at a meeting of the World Tourism Organisation, Pedro Sanchez reportedly said he did not expect holidaymakers to visit Spain until nearly all of the population has been vaccinated.

He said the country would “progressively” prepare to welcome international tourists once 70% of Spain’s population had been vaccinated, which he expected to be by the end of this summer, local media sites including Euro Weekly News have reported.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reportedly said 70% of the population would need to be vaccinated

It will be a blow for the tourism sector, which closed its worst year since the 1970s in 2020 with revenues falling by more than 75%.

Spain reported its highest daily number of coronavirus infections yet on Thursday, recording 44,357 cases.

A further 404 deaths were also reported, taking the country’s total to 55,041 deaths and 2.5 million cases.

Spain is not the only popular holiday destination closing its doors to British tourists, as Portugal has said it will be suspending all flights to and from Britain from Saturday onwards.

Only repatriation flights will be allowed between the two countries, Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference.

British tourists arrive at Gran Canaria airport
Spain is one of the most popular destinations for British tourists

Meanwhile, the UK itself has “considered” a full closure of its borders.

Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News ministers were keeping the idea “under review” and “can’t rule anything out for now” – although they believed the current restrictions were “sufficient”.

Asked whether people should be booking foreign holidays for this summer, Home Secretary Priti Patel refused to give an answer and said it was “far too early” to speculate on restrictions.

But some Britons have already begun booking their breaks, with holiday firms saying they had seen a spike in bookings from older people planning trips following the vaccine roll-out.

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‘We need to have a spring and summer season’

The UK’s largest tour operator TUI said half of bookings made so far have been made by over-50s.

Spain ranks among the most popular countries for people planning holidays this year.

A study by travel company Club Med showed it was the fifth most popular destination, behind the Maldives, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey.

Earlier, European Union leaders held an online summit to discuss potential coronavirus measures, including further border restrictions.

While a number of EU leaders said they would not rule out border closures, Spain and Greece backed an idea for a common approach to “vaccine passports”.

The system would allow people to travel if they had received the vaccine, although EU diplomats said the measure was premature as it is not yet clear if vaccinated people could still pass on the virus to others.

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Donald Trump was fooled into talking to prankster pretending to be Piers Morgan, TV presenter says | UK News



Donald and Melania Trump

A prankster pretending to be Piers Morgan managed to fool Donald Trump into thinking he was speaking to the real TV presenter.

It happened in October while the former president and Apprentice star was on Air Force One, Morgan said.

Mr Trump, who left the White House for the final time earlier this week, only realised he had been scammed when he rang the genuine Morgan the following day while on his way to Florida, the presenter revealed.

Donald and Melania Trump boarding Air Force One for the last time on Wednesday

Morgan told the BBC it was a “hilarious story”, adding: “Somebody had called him pretending to be me the day before and got through to him on Air Force One and they had a conversation with Trump thinking he was talking to me.”

It is not known who the prankster was.

The pair, who have known each other for more than a decade, fell out last year after Morgan, 55, criticised Mr Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2008, Morgan won a series of Celebrity Apprentice hosted by the billionaire businessman.

He also interviewed him during his time in office for ITV‘s Good Morning Britain.

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Donald Trump’s presidency in 6 minutes

Taking about Mr Trump’s time as US president, Morgan said the 74-year-old had been a “useless leader” because of his “character flaws – the chronic narcissism, the desire to make everything about himself”.

But Mr Trump is not the only prominent person to have been fooled by a prankster.

In March last year, Prince Harry was reportedly tricked into speaking about his decision to quit the royal family by Russian hoaxers posing as the environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

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