Rules on the number of times you can leave your house for exercise were lifted yesterday in the first phase of easing the lockdown, and while reopening swimming pools was ruled out, going the sea or lakes is OK.
Adding clarification to his – somewhat – confusing address to the nation which announced small modifications that amount to essentially nothing changing, Johnson explained;
You can now walk, sit and rest in parks, you can play sports and exercise and you can do all these things with members of your own household or with one other person from another household provided you observe social distancing and remain two metres apart. I do hope that’s clear.
In response to the question on everyone’s lips (not the one about whether you can now meet your tinder date for a game of tennis, that remains unclear) but the other one; “can I go swimming??”
Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons; “we can’t do anything for swimming pools” but changes to allow people to access lakes and the sea will kick in from Wednesday because there is a “lower risk outdoors than indoors.”
We can only infer that the "lower risk" relates to catching coronavirus, rather than drowning.
This does open up some options for those professional swimmers who have had to come up with some interesting ways to practice from home;
And some people are really quite excited by the news…
Before you all rush down to your local loch, beach or hot springs, have a quick think about who will haul you out if you get in a spot of bother.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has responded to the statement from the prime minister by explaining that;
Social distancing is not an option whilst on a lifeboat. As well as the situations the volunteers crews usually put themselves into there is added risk in relation to COVID-19.
There has been a spike in call-outs for lifeboats during lockdown for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboats. The volunteer crews were called out nine times, including in bad weather since the lockdown was announced.
Like any other day of the year and during these exceptional times the crew have made sure they are available and will continue to do so until lockdown measures are lifted.
The RNLI used a statement to call for “further clarity” from the government on the updated measures.