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Exercise outside safely with advice from leading outdoor organisations

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Thirty-five leading outdoor activity, tourism, nature, heath and rescue organisations have come together to back the Prime Minister's call for the public to exercise outdoors whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.

In a joint statement, the group offers support to the Government and advises the nation on how to stay active safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

During the daily COVID-19 news conference on Sunday, Boris Johnson stated: "It is very important for people's mental and physical wellbeing that they should be able to get out and exercise if they possibly can, and many, many people do not have access to private green spaces…That's why parks, open spaces are so absolutely crucial for our country and for our society, but when we do that we have to do it responsibly."

He warned the public that they need to follow social distancing guidelines, or the Government will be forced to restrict access to more open spaces.

In response to the developing COVID-19 outbreak, 35 organisations from the outdoor recreation industry — including the Camping and Caravanning Club, the National Trust, Forestry England and Ordnance Survey —have come together to issue advice on exercising safely outdoors.

In a recent statement, the group said: "In this time of national crisis, when almost all forms of indoor entertainment and social gatherings are severely restricted, a balance can be struck. As the Prime Minister outlined, we must preserve the health of the vulnerable and restrict the spread of COVID-19, while doing all that we can to maintain the mental, social and physical health of the nation. We endorse this approach and encourage the public to strictly follow social distancing guidance while exercising outside, close to home."

The group advises those who are not self-isolating or vulnerable to follow these guidelines:

  • Enjoy active outdoor recreation in your local area, while practicing good social distancing at all times
  • Do not travel to popular tourist areas and reduce the risk of groups gathering in one place
  • Stay close to home — consider low risk, familiar activities in local areas, such as a local walk or run
  • Avoid public transport and social gatherings — keep active by travelling on foot or bike
  • Outdoor play and learning opportunities that reflect government guidelines are available to children, including those of key workers attending school.

The group's statement continues: "To the extent areas of the outdoors remain open, if you can get outside close to home while taking sensible precautions, then please do so. Now, possibly more than ever, staying active is vital to everyone's physical and mental wellbeing."

Mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS) has also reminded the public that even in the country's more densely populated areas, no-one is ever far from a green space, such as a local park - find your nearest green space with OS's handy online tool here.

Over the coming weeks, the group plans to release more advice on staying active and healthy outdoors during the COVID-19 crisis.

   

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