Enjoy the Great British Outdoors

The key change to the lockdown restrictions that has been announced is that we can exercise more frequently and for longer.   Travelling for exercise is now permitted, with a number of important caveats.  It is clear from today’s guidance that travel is only for day trips, and not overnight stays, and second homeowners should not be returning which will hopefully address a number of concerns residents have raised with me.

I am hopeful the RNLI will shortly resume their fantastic lifeguard services on our beaches and that we can take to the immense Atlantic Ocean again where social distancing is possible with ease.

My tourism survey last week raised some concerns about when tourists would be able to return.  However, it was consistently felt that our watersports sector should be the first to reopen, and as a fitness enthusiast myself I warmly welcome the opportunity for additional activity.  I know that many other constituents have wanted to go angling and play golf, as well as other sports, and they will welcome being able to do so.

Garden centres are re-opening on Wednesday as well, so for the keen gardeners amongst you, and everyone that has written to me about them, hopefully this is good news.

The most important thing with these changes, is that these extra trips out are only where social distancing can be followed.   Scientists advise that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside which is why outdoor leisure pursuits are first to partially resume.

We must recognise the virus has not gone away and continue to practice safe social distancing wherever we are.  In addition, remember to wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds, with soap to reduce the risk of transmission.

I am already liaising with car park owners and operators to ensure they feel able to open safely, as well as the police and the RNLI to ensure that we are able to all stay safe this weekend and moving forward.  However, I very much hope that this small step to enable us to improve our health and well being at such a difficult time will be welcomed.

The full guidance is available online here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy and answers to the most common questions are here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do.