Can I drive somewhere else to exercise or walk my dog? The latest guidance explained as lockdown rules are updated by government

As lockdown rules begin to ease in Scotland, knowing what you can and cannot do outside has become confusing

Friday, 29th May 2020, 12:05 pm
This is whether you should drive somewhere to walk your dog - explained (Photo: Shutterstock)

Areas across the UK are adopting different approaches to the way lockdown is being handled.

Scotland is now beginning to ease its own lockdown rules, following a statement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The new rules are “not set in stone” and will be reviewed every three weeks, as required by law.

People are allowed to exercise outside as much as they want now - but does this include driving to a beauty spot or park to run or walk your dog?

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Here’s what you should know.

Can I drive to take my dog on a walk?

In terms of being able to travel to exercise, the Scottish government now states: “You will also be permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but advised to stay within a short distance of your local community and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible.”

People will be able to sit outside and sunbathe in parks and open areas, as well as being able to travel within their local are for exercise.

There is “strong advice” for people not to travel more than five miles for leisure.

Therefore you would be able to drive to a specific location to exercise, or walk your dog, but you should keep in mind that you are being advised to stay local where possible.

Previously when people weren’t allowed to travel to exercise, there were some extenuating circumstances that would allow you to do so, such as if you or a person in your care, has a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home and travel beyond your local area, then you are allow to do so.

This includes:

- People with learning disabilities or autism that require specific exercise in an open space

- If you have a disability and need to travel further to exercise safely, such as being in a wheelchair – you can travel to a location that has accessible parking and level access

These circumstances are presumably still in effect.

When exercising outdoors however, social distancing measures are still in place, so you should stay two meters away from other members of the public, maintain hand and cough hygiene and avoid touching hard surfaces such as walls, fences and park benches.

Attempting to exercise in crowded areas where these physical distancing measures would be hard to maintain is advised against.

The guidelines from the government also state that high risk exercise “that may result in injury and require medical care or emergency services support” should be avoided as well.

Police Scotland have also issued a statement stating: “There will be increased presence on the streets and in parks across Scotland with highly visible patrols.

“Our officers will be there to help and assist members of the public and will seek to engage with those who are not complying with the current guidance.”

Can I meet up with people from outside my house?

You will be able to meet up with one other person from another household, as long as you maintain social distancing measures – this includes in gardens as well.

Visits inside another household are not permitted, only outdoor meet ups are allowed for the time being.