SIOBHAN Baillie, Stroud MP, has written up some guidance on staying indoors and daily exercise.

Writing on her Facebook page, Siobhan said she had been contacted by constituents asking about access to canal towpaths during the lockdown.

She wrote:

It is a very strange bank holiday Easter weekend but we can do this 💪 By following the rules and staying at home we can stop the spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus and protect our critical workers, most of whom are working all over the weekend.

The experts have said that we are also starting to see the measures working. Now is not the time to ignore the rules even though I know it is really difficult - more so for people without outside space at home.

I have been asked a few times to go over the rules for staying indoors and exercise. Please find information below.

👀 When am I allowed to leave the house?

You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible

• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household

• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

• travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

👀 Can I go to the park?

You can still go to the park for outdoor exercise once a day but only alone or with members of your household, not in groups.

Communal places within parks such as sports courts, playgrounds and outdoor gyms have been closed to protect everyone’s health.

We ask that households use parks responsibly and keep 2 metres (6ft) apart from others at all times.

Unless you are with members of your household, gatherings of more than two people in parks and other public spaces have been banned. The police have the powers to disperse gatherings and issue fines if necessary.

👀 Can I drive to a national park or other green space to walk?

We advise you to stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.

You can still go to the park for outdoor exercise once a day but only by yourself or within your household, not in groups.

We ask you to keep 2 metres apart from others outside your household at all times when outdoors.

👀 Can I exercise more than once a day if I need to due to a significant health condition?

You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so.

This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.

Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.

👀 Canal tow paths

I had a few emails last week about concerns regarding our local canal tow paths. The reality is that the majority of the canal paths are simply not wide enough to walk/run/cycle down and keep the 2m/6ft distance from others when passing.

There are a few calls for the canal areas to be closed to the public.

Please stay away from the tow paths so we can protect them and people who have to use them.

👀 What will happen to me if I break the rules?

We appreciate all the effort people are putting into containing the spread of coronavirus which will help protect our NHS and save lives.

However, if you leave your home or gather in public for any reason other than those specified, the police may:

• instruct you to go home, leave an area or disperse

• instruct you to take steps to stop your children breaking these rules if they have already done so

• take you home – or arrest you – if you do not follow their instructions or where they deem it necessary

• issue a fine (fixed penalty notice) of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.

• issue a fine (fixed penalty notice) of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence

Individuals who do not pay their fine could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

If we help our hard working police by sticking to the rules and staying 2m away from others, they will not need to move to the enforcement measures. They are taking a practical and sensible approach to this difficult time. In return, we must do the same.

Hope you are keeping well and staying safe.

Sending my best wishes to all of you.

Siobhan