A group of 35 leading national outdoor activity, tourism, nature, health and rescue organisations, has come together to back the Prime Minister’s call for the public to behave responsibly while exercising outside. 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 have been liaising together closely, and talking directly with Government departments and Public Health England staff.
The group has issued the following statement to help the public exercise safely outside:
“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.
“A nation in lockdown could lead to enhanced anxiety, depression, social unrest, mental and physical ill-health, and social poverty. In contrast, carefully managed local exercise, inside or outside, will provide welcome active release for individuals and families feeling trapped. Getting into the outdoors sensibly very close to our own homes now, will make it easier for all of us to sustain other official guidelines and preserve the health of the vulnerable in the longer term.
“Fully respecting the need for the ill and vulnerable to remain self-isolated, for those healthy individuals and families with no symptoms, getting active outside remains one of the very few tools left to fight the social impact of this disease.
“We 35 national outdoor organisations advocate the following: