MILLIONS of people in the North-East already facing the toughest restrictions were plunged into lockdown with the rest of England last night as the government continues to grapple with Covid.

The fitness industry is normally booming in January, with people making New Year resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle.

A national lockdown, where people are discouraged from leaving their homes except for essential trips in attempts to curb the new, infectious strain of the coronavirus, could see many losing motivation. 

But while you should minimise time spent outside your home, you can leave for exercise once a day. 

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble, but you can meet one other person for exercise.

Physical exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. It can help people sleep better, improve mood, manage stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem and reduce the risk of depression.

Government guidance stresses that you can only leave your home to exercise and not for recreation or leisure like a picnic or a social meeting).

This should be limited to once per day and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with one person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • playgrounds

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

When around other people, you should also stay two metres apart from anyone you don't live with or are not in your support bubble.

If you can't do this, because you are in a crowded place for example, the rules say you must stay at least one metre apart and take extra precautions like wearing a face covering.

The law also states you must wear a face covering in many indoor settings like shops or places of worship, where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt.