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Following the government's announcement on Monday 4 January 2021, you must follow national lockdown guidelines. For more information, visit GOV.UK. For information about changes to our services, visit our coronavirus section.

Use common sense when spending time outdoors

Published Friday 4 September, 2020
Last updated on Tuesday 22 September, 2020

With the slight easing of lockdown, many of us – who don’t need to self-isolate to stay safe – can now spend more time outdoors, subject to social distancing rules, but please remember to use your common sense.

Individual households can now relax in the park, sunbathe, go for a picnic and go fishing.

We can also spend time with one member of another household, one-on-one, as long as we all use common sense and stick to the strict social distancing guidelines at all times by staying two metres apart.

We can also travel further to enjoy our time outside, with no restrictions on how far we can go to get to the countryside and visit beaches.

This gives us more options for where to go but relies on us making sure we use our common sense.

If you’re planning on heading out, please think about:

  • Will you be able to social distance? If it’s somewhere popular, there may be lots of people around making it harder to stay two metres apart.
  • Outdoor play and exercise equipment is still closed – don’t try to use it.
  • If you’re planning a picnic, make sure you’ve got a bag to clear up your rubbish.
  • If you’re visiting the seaside, please be careful around the water.

The advice remains that everybody should continue to avoid public transport other than for essential journeys.

We should only make journeys by cycling, walking or driving in a private vehicle. We should also check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

This advice is strictly limited to spending time with your household or with one other person and is subject to social distancing rules.

It remains the case that you cannot gather with more than one member of another household - for example to play sports.

You also cannot:

  • Go on holiday
  • Visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home
  • Visit the homes of friends and family, unless it’s to help a vulnerable person, for medical reasons, or to take a child to another household with whom parental responsibilities are shared.

More stringent enforcement measures for non-compliance with the new rules have also come into effect.

Fines have been increased, and will now start at £100, which will be lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days. This will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200.

For updates and information about the council's coronavirus response, visit our coronavirus page.