Hancock gets heavy: 'If you disobey the rules, we will ban exercising outside'

Police patrol Brighton beach today as the Government warns flouting of the rules could lead to an outdoor ban on exercising (PA Images)
Police patrol Brighton beach today as the Government warns flouting of the rules could lead to an outdoor ban on exercising (PA Images)
14:33pm, Sun 05 Apr 2020
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock today delivered an ultimatum to the British public -  follow social distancing rules or exercise outside will be banned.

Hancock made the threat after incidents of group gatherings, sunbathing and barbecues were reported yesterday.

And, given the mini heatwave across large parts of the country today, he was adamant the guidance needs to be followed.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, he said: "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.

"Let's not have a minority spoil it for everybody."

Hancock emphasised the mental and physical benefits of exercising but reiterated the Government would take the privilege away.

"If the result of that [exercise outside] 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."

And he repeated the warning on Sophie Ridge on Sunday later: “Sunbathing is against the rules that have been set out for important public health reasons. You are putting others’ lives at risk and you are putting yourself in harm’s way.”

On Saturday, Sussex police said that two people have received a summons for having a barbecue on Hove beach.

In addition, Lambeth council in south London warned that Brockwell park could be closed after 3,000 people spent the day sunbathing and congregating in large groups.

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