Coronavirus updates: Government issues ‘stay local’ exercise advice as death toll hits 759

Families are being urged to ‘stay local’ for exercise during their first weekend in lockdown.

The Government has issued clear guidance on what people should do to get exercise urging the public to only use ‘open spaces’ near the homes wherever possible.

It comes after police forces – including Staffordshire Police – accepted there had been some ‘confusion’ with families travelling to beauty spots such as The Roaches and Rudyard Lake to get their daily trip out.

But with the UK death toll hitting 759 yesterday, the Environment Department has now clarified its stance on staying safe while exercising.

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The public should “stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible”, it said, adding: “Do not travel unnecessarily.”

And people should keep at least two metres from anyone they do not live with when out exercising.

Staffordshire Police had last night issued a plea to families to stay away from beauty spots such as Cannock Chase and the Roaches.

A spokesman said: “There’s been some confusion around whether people can visit and exercise in the Staffordshire countryside, including Cannock Chase, the Roaches and other country parks.

“We’re asking you not to visit these areas and to stay close to home to exercise for daily exercise, as per the government guidelines on social distancing.

“We understand that there’s a small number of people who live within these immediate areas who may continue to walk dogs and exercise, but cars should only be used for essential journeys and not to travel somewhere to exercise.

“We all need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID protect the NHS and save lives. Thank you for your support in staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. The beautiful Staffordshire countryside will still be there in a few weeks for us all to enjoy.”

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