Outdoor Exercise Could Be Banned Unless People Follow The Rules, Government Warns
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the government could ban all outdoor exercise if people continue to flout the rules, following reports of people sunbathing on their allotted time this weekend.
Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr, Mr Hancock said that 'further action' might have to be taken.
He said: "I understand how difficult these measures are, of course I do. But the truth is the more people go out from home, the more the virus spreads.
"We've said because of the positive benefits to your physical and your mental health that it's OK to exercise on your own or with members of your own household.
"But if the result of that is that too many people go out and flout the other rules because they say, 'Well, if I can exercise, then it's fine for me to do other things,' then I'm afraid we will have to take action.
"My message is really clear - if you don't want us to have to take the step to ban exercise of all forms outside of your own home then you've got to follow the rules."
The warning follows reports of large numbers of people flocking to a London park over the weekend, forcing the council to step in and close it down.
Brockwell Park in London was visited by more than 3,000 people on Saturday (4 April), despite the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
Lambeth Council announced that a 'minority' of people were seen sunbathing and gathering in large groups, so the decision was taken to shut the park, which is just south of Brixton.
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Posting on social media, the council said it had been advised by the police to take the extra measures.
The statement read: "Despite clear advice, over 3,000 people spent today in Brockwell Park, many of them sunbathing or in large groups. This is unacceptable. Unfortunately, the actions of a minority now mean that, following police advice, Brockwell Park will be closed tomorrow."
The council then later added: "We are sorry we've had to take this decision. This wouldn't need to happen if people followed the clear instructions from the Govt.
"We are doing this for the wider safety of the public. A minority of people have not followed the guidance - regrettably we have to act."
Earlier in the day, locals shared their concern with the council after seeing groups of people in the park.
Asking for it to be closed, one person wrote: "Really think @lambeth_council need to close #BrockwellPark - I've been going there for my daily walk and every single time some idiot jogger has come within 1-2 feet of me and there are groups everywhere.
"Close it this weekend - people clearly care more about good weather than heath."
Just stay at home, LADs. It's safer for us all.
Featured Image Credit: BBC News