Staying at home advice

The suggestion is that when it is safe to do so, people will be able to leave their home more often and/or for longer because current expert advice suggests outdoor activity poses less risk than indoor activity.

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on May 04, 2020 at 08:20PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 128 votes

Comments

  • Posted by tom26 May 05, 2020 at 13:00

    people should be allowed to do outdoor exercise further from their homes provided they maintain social distances on the way there (i.e. private car and no stopping) and once there. If people were allowed to do their chosen outdoor sports at a time that scotland's climate allows, the benefit in terms of mental and physical wellbeing would be clear and if social distancing is adhered to then the risks are small. this should include walking, watersports, cycling and others on the provision that social distancing can be maintained at all times. this should be restricted buy current regulations of households or any bubbles in the future - most of these pastimes are by their very nature socially distant.
  • Posted by MichelleBaron May 05, 2020 at 13:07

    As a dog owner I have found it difficult to limit myself to only leaving the house once a day. I want to be a responsible citizen and do my bit to help control transmission of the virus. If I was able to take the dogs out more than once a day this would be great! I would add that I live in a remote area of the Highlands and rarely see other people while out exercising. I would support the idea of having geographically different guidance on exercise for rural areas, where we are less likely to come into contact with other people.
  • Posted by Plymo May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    There should be no restriction on simply "leaving where you are living". This section of the current rules is responsible for the vast majority of confusion, friction between public and police and over-zealous enforcement - often for little benefit. After all, people sensibly spaced out sunbathing are no more risk than those "exercising" in the same park, and far less than going to a supermarket. It would allow a return to "normality" without significantly increasing risk
  • Posted by Garywall8787 May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    Restrictions are far too strict at the moment
  • Posted by Fiona May 05, 2020 at 13:11

    It would be beneficial to travel short distances to parks and beaches by car but still maintain social distancing from others. Many people do not have access to parks within easy walking distance.
  • Posted by ANNI May 05, 2020 at 13:16

    to travel to exercise outdoors, perhaps no further than 30 mins drive, and for no longer than 4hrs? Would mean we could walk the beach or the hills, take a picnic. especially during summer months
  • Posted by Jimmywaugh May 05, 2020 at 13:18

    Only within a limited area and no travel by car
  • Posted by Fifewifey May 05, 2020 at 13:19

    I think getting outside more is good for the soul, but any advice for the public has to be 100% clear
  • Posted by CG25 May 05, 2020 at 13:19

    Allow people further from their homes, maybe even a 5 mile radius/ within 15 minute drive from their home while keeping social distancing rules. The scope this will open up will allow people more open space/ fresh air and easier to social distance in that currently those in heavily populated areas find it very hard to avoid others during daily exercise as all are restricted to same paths/ pavements. Will also help prevent people getting ‘bored’ with restrictions and more likely to adhere
  • Posted by lalpton May 05, 2020 at 13:19

    Being allowed to simply drive up to 30 minutes to exercise each day would be of great benefit whilst maintaining social distancing during that exercise. 60 minutes would be even better (perhaps limited to once week?).
  • Posted by Thalie May 05, 2020 at 13:38

    Current social restrictions are hard to follow in some areas. Glasgow's west end parks and walkways are incredibly busy, for example, and it is very hard to maintain social distancing. Personally, I would feel safer taking my car to a hill/forest/countryside for a walk, than walking through Kelvingrove Park, as social distancing would be much easier to follow in the former, but under current restrictions, this is not possible. Also, being in the sun these days has great benefits on both mental and physical health. As long as social distancing is enforced, people should be allowed to sit in parks for example for an hour or two or so.
  • Posted by lucieallan May 05, 2020 at 13:40

    Allowing more freedom and longer time being outside for walking and exercising whilst still socially distancing would be great for adults and children alike. Would be a great help to mental and physical health.
  • Posted by Cieran999 May 05, 2020 at 13:42

    Advice is only valid if people adhere to the restrictions. Outdoor v Indoor... the virus can do nothing unless we pass it on.... the population, as a whole is unable to comprehend, due to the actions of eejits. We'll only know if its safe to do after the fact with the great political tool of hindsight
  • Posted by Puffin1730 May 05, 2020 at 13:48

    It is unfortunate when the means is confused with the end. 'Stay at home' is a means to ensure there is 'Social distancing'. Ensuring that people maintain social distancing is what matters. There is no inherent value in requiring people to stay at home, though I accept this was a necessary step to take given the novel situation we found ourselves in 2 months ago. Given our experience over the last 2 months I think that most (if not all) people now understand the importance of social distancing. That should allow a more flexible approach to be taken. Is it not possible that Scottish people (with encouragement) might be able to follow the Swedish example? I suggest it is appropriate now to instruct people to maintain social distancing and trust them to do this responsibly, rather than regulating the finer details of daily life.
  • Posted by alogan May 05, 2020 at 14:07

    social distancing more important than the number of times one leaves the house, or the length of time for which one leaves.
  • Posted by BiggarRural May 05, 2020 at 14:29

    We live rurally, but off a main road, surrounded by fields with lambs. Rural bliss perhaps, but without being able to drive a short distance to take exercise we have been prisoners as we cannot walk out for exercise. The English advice about a short car journey to a longer walk makes far more sense. By driving for 5 minutes we can have a decent walk with no gates, and without meeting more than maybe a couple of people, from whom we can easily distance. Rules need to be more pragmatic and not just for political sound bite purposes. I think we need to trust people more now - we are all surely aware of the potential dire consequences of becoming infected and of how to protect ourselves.
  • Posted by fraser May 05, 2020 at 14:30

    Police enforcement of social distancing is likely a violation of our human rights. I would guess that every single fine ever handed out shall be overturned in the long run. what is needed is reasonable social pressure and community spirit - which I note is not exactly lacking. On the whole the majority of the population wants to contribute and would help if given an opportunity. The government needs to harness this and enforce good practise without legal recourse. The NHS app should help, as wilfully neglecting your responsibility not to inflict harm on others, if you have reason to believe you may be infected IS illegal and punishable by law. I think most citizens would gladly see this prosecuted swiftly rather than holding some poor soul topping up their vitamin D in the park for 10 minutes.
  • Posted by MDG May 05, 2020 at 14:41

    I think that the ability to exercise should be extended to twice a day so that parents can take their children out for a walk/exercise but can then also be able to take some exercise themselves individually. That has never been clear from the guidance, other than Jason Leith's examples of the "more folk go out, the more the risk increases", but from a wellbeing aspect I think that some flexibility here would make a difference to people. Some sports and activities should also be allowed to start again, both participation and competitive within the new guidelines We have witnessed folk in their 20s/early 30s clearly not being able to cope with being housebound and a marketing campaign should be used to target them to reinforce the guidance and their understanding of what social distancing means and how it actually impacts on those graphs, its not been good enough and has undoubtedly impacted on the rate of infection. Too many young drivers/motorcyclists have seen the lockdown as an opportunity to use quieter roads and basically ignored the "essential" aspect and have been seen meeting up outwith family groups, basically two fingers up to the country.
  • Posted by JaneySue May 05, 2020 at 14:42

    There is no harm in going out of the house on multiple occasions in a day, as long as one practices social distancing. Also very pleased that my local police force has been very light touch and not stopped and asked people where they are going and why.
  • Posted by LA May 05, 2020 at 14:43

    I agree that social distancing is much more important than the number of times we leave our house for exercise. Being able to walk the dog and take my child out on her bike more often than once a day would be a great benefit to our wellbeing.
  • Posted by mickm1 May 05, 2020 at 14:47

    There needs to be a lifting of restriction of the stay at home policy. Trust the public to maintain their social distancing and take the necessary precautions. I cannot understand the whole no travelling to a holiday home policy either. The site I have a caravan on has all amenities closed but to say that I cant even go there to isolate, I just don't understand that! I had planned going there and nowhere even near 2 metre proximity of anyone. Its now becoming a chore and there needs to be clarity and trusting of the general public. M
  • Posted by Aa May 05, 2020 at 15:01

    This should be a priority, allow people more freedom, but keep the physical distancing message clear. Yes, you can drive to the forest for a walk, but keep physical distancing (If thanks still to be the current advice). It's much safer to go for a short drive and walk in the woods, than to go to a supermarket.
  • Posted by Tonia May 05, 2020 at 15:14

    We live in a rural setting off of a main road, surrounded by high walls and fields with young lambs and calves. We are not able to just walk out anywhere, we have to drive, either a five or ten minute drive allows us to walk for approximately one hour, where we dont usually see anyone, and if we did are able to maintain social distancing. I think the rule for not driving for exercise should be relaxed .
  • Posted by ifu03359 May 05, 2020 at 15:20

    We are all used to social distancing now so it would be ideal to be allowed out of the city to somewhere that we can spread out. Pollock Park car parks are shut, but this doesn't mean there are no people in the park! It is extremely busy with bikes, runners and walkers - all of whom are doing the right thing and trying to stay apart. Even allowance of 10-15 miles from home would be a benefit.
  • Posted by paulthevol May 05, 2020 at 15:48

    I agree with all those saying the "one piece of exercise a day" advice should be relaxed. Using a car for a short journey would also spread the pressure and make physical distancing easier to achieve. In East Lothian all our countryside car parks are closed - these need re-opened but with the proviso that numbers using them may need to be limited at certain busy times and at popular locations, eg the beaches at weekends - a difficult balancing act
  • Posted by Markxd May 05, 2020 at 16:13

    Start treating people as responsible adults and allow them to look after themselves whilst applying sound and reasonable judgement. As short drive to avoid people and walk the dog in an isolated spot is not only sensible it is the RIGHT thing to do, why would anybody suggest otherwise?
  • Posted by lindadoune May 05, 2020 at 16:17

    travelling to exercise could be a potential nightmare: imagine how busy Ben Lomond, Ben Nevis, country parks would be
  • Posted by Benalder May 05, 2020 at 16:29

    Guidance on 'outdoor exercise' need to be based on a proper assessment of relative risk. Allowing people from the same household to travel in a car to access the countryside is perfectly safe and low-risk no matter how far they travel as long as proper 'physical distancing' is maintained at all times from others when you get out of the car. It's not as if we are short of open countryside in Scotland! The current focus on 'staying close to home' is excessively limiting and takes no account of the need to minimise harmful limitations on our movement. It would also be helpful if Ministers (and the Police) recognised that their is a world of difference between what they are saying is guidance ( i.e whay they think 'you should do') and what the various pieces of legislation require (and which falls into things 'you must do' category).
  • Posted by DrT May 05, 2020 at 16:50

    Fully support this idea.
  • Posted by Benalder May 05, 2020 at 16:51

    Don't take Ireland's approach when eventually relaxing travel restrictions and introduce arbitrary limits on how far from your home they can travel - these are irrational (e.g. going 15km is no more 'risky' than going 5km) and excessively penalise those of us in the Central Belt. What matters is physical distancing at your destination.
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 05, 2020 at 17:01

    Excellent idea. There is no point in having everyone under house arrest when there is a big wide country out there, subject to us keeping properly distanced.
  • Posted by spittalhill May 05, 2020 at 17:07

    Some relaxation of the current rules would be welcome, but access to known areas where crowds are likely to gather and distancing becomes difficult, such as popular beaches and urban public parks should not be allowed.
  • Posted by ClemPab May 05, 2020 at 17:40

    I don't understand the "stay at home" rules when we have large outdoor spaces available where it is extremely easy to stay at a large distance from other people and not touch anything. It's a lot harder to follow social distancing rules inside the city, including in parks, let alone on the streets. I feel like the rule should be to not touch anyone or anything, but go wherever you like!
  • Posted by PaulB1987 May 05, 2020 at 18:36

    Walk or run with 1 friend to allow some sort of interaction with friends or family whilst following the social distancing rules which I believe most would. It’s been over 6 weeks and the majority have followed. How would this be more risky than the amount of people in supermarkets etc. It would allow for people to see loved ones and close friends which is vital for mental health and coping in long term
  • Posted by NeilMacd May 05, 2020 at 18:39

    I enjoy fishing on Loch Earn, I use a boat and very rarely come into contact with anymore than a couple of fellow fishermen. Social distancing is easier to manage than going to the shops or out for a walk in my local area. Scottish People understand the risks as well as the benefits of social distancing and nobody wants to catch or transmit the disease but for gods sake let us get to these areas for our mental health and well-being. By relaxing areas where social distancing can be easily adhered to it will ease the strains of all the other restrictions that will be with us for many months to come. As a last note it really angers me that I must work and put my self and family at risk every day as a key worker on the electricity network yet I am not allowed to practice my hobby which is measurably safer.
  • Posted by RossK May 05, 2020 at 19:10

    People should be allowed out as often as they like for general exercise and for longer durations. Its not the amount of time outside that in any way impacts the risk of infection as long as social distancing is followed. During our walks (we are fortunate to be next to a country park and golf course) we are lucky if we get within 20 yards of anyone. For those people not fortunate enough to be close to a park it should be perfectly OK to drive to take a walk in a much more open and pleasant area such as a park. It is completely misguided to criticise people for doing this - it does not in any way increase the risk of infection. In fact asking people to walk round the neighbourhood in a built up area is a lot more challenging to keep a good distance than in an open park or promenade area.
  • Posted by nltcthgc May 05, 2020 at 19:30

    It is already perfectly safe to go outdoors. When most people go out to the park, or a walk, they do not generally get in other peoples faces, as a nation, we tend to like our own space. Your own adviser, Jason Leitch, was quoted as saying it would be very unlikely you catch the virus passing someone in the street/park, never mind somewhere even more isolated like the mountains. When do you think it will be safe? This is a virus which is likely to be around forever. Even with a vaccine, thousands of people will likely still die from it - just look at the current flu statistics. It will be a risk like any other. The best way to avoid dying from it is to try and live a fit and healthy life, get as much fresh air as you can and do regular exercise. Something which the current lockdown restrictions are preventing millions of people from doing.
  • Posted by Roland May 05, 2020 at 19:32

    I agree with much of this thread; open up all outdoor space, public spaces, parks, beaches and tennis courts, golf courses. The car parks are unlikely to be hotbeds of transmission. Encourage people outside!
  • Posted by DrSaraParvis May 05, 2020 at 19:42

    I think everyone would appreciate being allowed to go outside more if it were deemed not too dangerous.
  • Posted by Sevclem May 05, 2020 at 19:46

    Not clear to me why my wife and I cannot leave our house in a car together, go somewhere for the day and maintain social distance at the same time. Probably safer than the supermarket
  • Posted by User842 May 05, 2020 at 19:48

    It is becoming essential that people should be allowed to maintain property that is not their principal residence. Insurance requires regular checks which if not carried out may result in significant loss. This is not suggesting people change where they live but to allow reasonable movement to enable maintenance - grass cutting / property maintenance etc.
  • Posted by Rachel_T1502 May 05, 2020 at 20:12

    Definitely agree for mental health reasons also strongly feel people should be allowed to travel sensible distances to exercise given the crowded pavements and parks within cities
  • Posted by adnil May 05, 2020 at 20:28

    Increase how often people are allowed out. Restricting to local area should remain in place to prevent crowding to beauty spots. Face coverings compulsory.
  • Posted by waterstein May 05, 2020 at 20:53

    This staying at home propaganda is getting rammed down our throats many times a day from both Scottish and UK govs. In lockdown transmission is by emergency services and care workers not by the general public - change the tune!
  • Posted by eroomxul May 05, 2020 at 22:26

    There is no rationale for limiting the number or types of outings that and individual can make. If an activity can be done safely, without significant risk of passing on the infection why does it need to be limited?
  • Posted by eroomxul May 05, 2020 at 22:27

    There is no rationale for limiting the number or types of outings that and individual can make. If an activity can be done safely, without significant risk of passing on the infection why does it need to be limited?
  • Posted by brianm May 05, 2020 at 22:41

    Great idea but keep it local - within walking or cycling distance of your home.
  • Posted by tentelt May 05, 2020 at 22:56

    Agree with almost all the comments that the important point is to maintain distance, not where exercise takes place. Can see no logic in not being able to travel by car to a quiet venue, after all you are isolated whilst in a car. Cyclists frequently pass us as we walk, and are often many miles from home. Good exercise no doubt but infinitely more likely to be dangerous by close contact than when isolated in a car. Even if exercise is not the objective of a journey from our immediate area, the stress relief of simply seeing a change of scenery (even without leaving a car) is immensely valuable. Related issue is the illogic of being able to walk in a relatively crowded area, but forbidden to practice solitary pursuits such as fishing, sailing, or even golf subject to controls on contact. Keep the public on board by applying logic.
  • Posted by Evelyn May 05, 2020 at 23:08

    Limiting social contact and virus spread opportunities is one thing. But confining people to their homes (especially if they don't have a garden) seems unnecessarily restrictive. We know what positive impact exercise has on mental health so as long as social distancing is complied with exercise should not be limited to once a day. Likewise there is no sensible rationale for limiting it to one form of exercise per day. So it should be ok to cycle in the morning and walk or run in the evening. In the main this should be undertaken from home but consideration should be given to allowing a short drive (say 15-30 minutes) to allow exercise somewhere other than on streets - maybe to allow children to access a park or other running about space.
  • Posted by Anna May 06, 2020 at 01:05

    There were problems in the early days of the restrictions in rural areas with people travelling to certain scenic open spaces and walking paths, climbing hills in close proximity. They were parking inconsiderately and some were endangering themselves and locals. These things are very difficult to control in sparsely policed rural areas. Restricting walking and cycling to areas local to individuals makes better sense. Recent going to Takeaway Costas etc by car creating tail backs shows morethought needs to go into changes or the freeing up will result in increased insecurity. Keep giving us clear messages please.
  • Posted by Anna May 06, 2020 at 01:06

    There were problems in the early days of the restrictions in rural areas with people travelling to certain scenic open spaces and walking paths, climbing hills in close proximity. They were parking inconsiderately and some were endangering themselves and locals. These things are very difficult to control in sparsely policed rural areas. Restricting walking and cycling to areas local to individuals makes better sense. Recent going to Takeaway Costas etc by car creating tail backs shows morethought needs to go into changes or the freeing up will result in increased insecurity. Keep giving us clear messages please.
  • Posted by OldDeuteronomy May 06, 2020 at 03:04

    No restrictions should be placed on the time/extent of travel by car. For those living in cities, especially, the freedom to escape to the beach/country for healthy exercise, especially during the summer months, is paramount for mental and physical well-being. A picnic on the beach/in the hills is doing no-one any harm so long as social distancing is adhered to. We live in a country of open spaces - let's make good use of/enjoy them.
  • Posted by pblackburn604 May 06, 2020 at 07:55

    Please put a ban on the continual transmission of stay at home messages - and adverts promoting people cheerily waving to the TV showing what a brave face they are putting on during lockdown. These are all counterproductive and invite destruction of the TV
  • Posted by Teresa May 06, 2020 at 09:24

    Accessing the outdoors is good for both physical and mental health. Many people really enjoy activities such as hillwalking and sea kayaking that can be carried out whilst social distancing.
  • Posted by Dianepbulloch May 06, 2020 at 09:26

    I live in the west end of Glasgow. I have access to public areas, along with thousands of other local residents and have to date limited my exercise to these areas. However, I can see no reason at all for me to continue to do so. Pathways in these city parks are in places narrow and cannot be navigated at a 2m apart distance and so I am unable to maintain social distancing at all times whilst out. Within a 15 to 20min drive of my home, I have access to miles and miles of countryside in which I could easily exercise safely and at a distance and yet, am not allowed to do so. In fact, there is evidence that people who are fortunate enough to live beside wide areas of open countryside are increasingly resistant to allow anyone else to share it which is unfair in the extreme. People who live in built up areas have just as much right to fresh air and open spaces as anyone, and we should all be allowed access to countryside within reasonable reach of our homes. Furthermore, I can see no reason at all why access to specific outside sports facilities is refused. Golf courses and tennis courts provide very obvious and clear opportunities for people to exercise effectively and with others whilst maintaining a safe distance and it is ridiculous that these facilities remain closed. You claim to care about people’s mental heath and yet access to facilities which would significantly enhance this is still refused. And finally, to decree that only one limited form of exercise is permitted in a day, when the sun is shining, the children are shut indoors is ridiculous and unreasonable. I would venture to suggest that this rule is in any event only loosely adhered and it would be far more constructive to support increased exposure to our great outdoors as I for one, will not spend summer days and days indoors looking out at the sunshine being enjoyed by others fortunate enough to have gardens and immediate access to wide open spaces.
  • Posted by Uilleam_G May 06, 2020 at 09:44

    Exercise and a varied and stimulating environment are central to everyone's continued well-being. In the immediate past (and probably into the indefinite future) taking such exercise and stimulation in uncrowded circumstances has been individually and societally essential. Most of us will by now have exhausted the stimulation to be gained from highly restricted repertoire of reliably uncrowded places to walk or cycle in the immediate vicinity of our houses. This is particularly so for cyclists who prefer to segregate themselves from road trafffic; for whom many normally usefull paths and tacks have been rendered unusable by the impossibility of maintaining proper social distance if passing or meeting orther traffic on foot or cycle. For these reasons I strongly support suggestions that a limited amount of "non-essential travel" be allowed to transport individuals (and household members) to locations where uncrowded conditions for hill-walking and cycling can be obtained. The car-parks associated with forestry commision land, national parks and so on, for natural choke points where un-controlled parking is likely to lead to crowding and the break-down of social distance, To minimise this risk, car-parks whihc have been closed during the "lock-down" should be re-opened and marked with parking spaces appropriated designed and spaced so as to maintain social distance. In particularly popular locations entry to such parks might need to be controlled and their use rationed.
  • Posted by jsbg May 06, 2020 at 09:48

    I am presently shielding and the rules state I should only use my garden as a place to exercise. i feel that this is to restrictive as I live in a rural area and can go for a walk outside with hardly any chance of meeting another walker. The rules on exercising should be changed to allow people to take what exercise they want as long as they can abide by the social distancing rules.
  • Posted by glasgowdoctor May 06, 2020 at 11:21

    The Scottish Government need to be hugely more mindful of the established evidence on physical exercise, particularly for the elderly and those with significant medical problems. This evidence indicates that if these groups do not partake in regular physical exercise they are at substantially increased evidence of developing other medical problems such as broken hips and ultimately are at substantially increased risk of death in the relatively short term. Current advice is that all people should avoid going outside if at all possible, particularly those who are thought to be more vulnerable to COVID-19. This is utterly ridiculous advice bearing in mind the contents of my first paragraph and the inscrutable fact that respiratory tract viruses such as COVID-19 are vanishingly unlikely to be transmitted outdoors when close physical contact is avoided. I know of many elderly patients who have not left their houses since mid-March due to the advice given by the Scottish Government. A number of these people are now at a stage where the resultant loss of physical fitness means that they would be unable to go outside even if they wanted to. Long experience as a GP teaches me that the vast majority of these people will be housebound for the rest of their lives and nothing can be done to change this. Please please please can the Scottish Government make a return to policy based on evidence and common sense.
  • Posted by conniel May 06, 2020 at 11:36

    Access to the outdoors is essential for my physical and mental health and I have walked locally every day during lockdown. My local area (city outskirts) is very busy with walkers, runners and cyclists. Keeping 2m distant without regularly stepping into the road can be difficult. We should be allowed to drive to a different area to engage in outdoor activity. It is much easier to maintain a greater distance from other people on the local hills, woods and beaches than in the city streets. There should be no limit on the time people are outdoors as long as they are keeping their distance from others. I would also prefer there to be no limit on the distance people could drive from their home, as long as they were required to return home at the end of their outdoor activity. If you limit the distance from home, this means that people from cities will be concentrated into fewer areas, making social distancing more difficult.
  • Posted by LauraJones May 06, 2020 at 12:03

    Release us from house arrest. The emotional and mental health strain is too great
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 06, 2020 at 12:18

    People should be allowed to exercise in the various wide open spaces that we are lucky to have in Scotland. They should not be restricted from visiting these places. Cafes/restaurants and non-food shops should remain closed at these locations to avoid gatherings of people.
  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 13:40

    Trust people fresh air and sun is good for all
  • Posted by TW May 06, 2020 at 13:48

    The emphasis should be on maintaining proper social distancing at all times regardless of how often/how long someone leaves their home for.
  • Posted by kararaff May 06, 2020 at 14:23

    I have 2 children under 2 and find the restriction on being able to leave the house for exercise once a day very hard. My newborn baby has colic and it's hard to settle her unless she is in her pram or Car seat. It's very hard to entertain a 22 month old all day without giving them way too much access to technology. Being able to go out more than once a day (sticking to the rules around social distancing) would be extremely beneficial. The one a day rule also restricts parents and dog walkers from getting their own exercise and headspace.
  • Posted by Lornab May 06, 2020 at 14:47

    There is confusion around what the rule is for England and where Scotland has chosen to differ. Recently it was announced that it was ok to drive to an exercise spot if the driving was considerably less than the exercise time. This was the a great piece of new which endangered no one - then it gets clarified that this isn't for Scotland. Why not? What harm is driving 15-30 minutes to walk for a few hours doing ? Its much safer than dodging other people around build up towns and trying to keep a distance in the crowded parks One set of clear rules would enable everyone to comply
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 15:07

    If we are all practising social distancing; why should there be a limit on the number of times we leave the house? Everyone in our area crosses the street or (safely) moves onto the road when they see someone coming from the other direction. This applies to activities too. If you can undertake something without affecting other people....what's the problem? If people don't feel safe to venture out yet, and many won't, then they are free to remain at home until they feel confident to step out. That shouldn't stop others from (safely) undertaking their chosen activity.
  • Posted by KSS May 06, 2020 at 18:15

    Increase the outdoor activity as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • Posted by Bank May 06, 2020 at 18:15

    You should be able to leave the house and social distance as much as you want . Many dog walkers are doing this anyway so why should a person with a dog have greater rights than those without. Either clamp down on those walking dogs numerous times a day or lift the rule . It’s needs to be an even playing field .
  • Posted by Brett May 06, 2020 at 18:39

    I would support the increase in number of times a household can leave their house to exercise if social distancing was to be maintained and this increase remained within their locality. I would also support outside space being used for more than just exercise if social distancing was also maintained. The two metre advice should not be downgraded.
  • Posted by AnaMaria May 06, 2020 at 19:42

    I fully understand the reason why these restrictions were put in place and it is comforting to know that they have made a difference to the number of potential deaths. It is clear that many people leave the house more than once a day already so leaving people to self manage I feel would increase these numbers. Having said that the time has come to make a small step change, particularly for those who have kept to the guidance. Many people find walking an issue and therefore suggesting multiple times outdoors would not particularly help them. Being allowed to drive, for example within 30/60 minutes from home and enjoy a change of scenery, perhaps having a picnic even in the car if the area is busy, would help the wellbeing of this group. Whilst it was ideal not to be driving to minimise the need for emergency service to attend road traffic accidents it does seem that there is now a bit more capacity. Even allowing one longer car journey a week alongside more time outdoors would be welcome.
  • Posted by alisond May 06, 2020 at 20:05

    Really agree with comments from slogan and puffin 30. The key messages should be outdoor activity safer than indoors, and keeping appropriate distance. Complicated rules, apart from being complicated, quickly will get to the point of not being a proportionate interference with freedom if we start getting into longer term restrictions on who is allowed out, when, where and for what purpose which risk being arbitrary.
  • Posted by Mcfuture May 06, 2020 at 20:27

    An additional period for exercise will help to indicate signs of progress in suppressing the virus. However we are concerned about the compliance with social distancing and feel a stronger presence of authority is required. Having visited the supermarket this week there were very few people wearing face coverings despite the current government guidance. Interestingly more people stayed 2 metres away from me than previously had happened because I was wearing one and maybe they thought I had had the virus!!!
  • Posted by rupparti May 06, 2020 at 21:54

    I'm in the very high risk category. Three suggestions: Daily online classes for older people as they are doing in Ireland: www.sielbleu.ie www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/a-life-saver-the-daily-online-exercise-class-for-older-people-1.4241830 This is cheap to provide. Sensible exercise outside with guidelines observing social distancing. I have lung cancer and walking regularly in my local park makes it a lot easier for me to breathe well. And important for my mental health. I have been able to make some small adaptations to my home to make long term shielding easier. How about making small grants available to people who don't necessarily have the resources to do this?
  • Posted by AlexMD May 06, 2020 at 22:03

    Get rid of the lockdown immediately.
  • Posted by ZoeK May 06, 2020 at 22:03

    This virus will NOT just disappear.  We must learn to live with it. Social interaction between loved ones must be reinstated with immediate effect.  Mental health and domestic/child abuse is on the extreme rise.  As is violence in communities. We must think what is best for us and our own.  NO ONE is in control of anothers life.  We can NOT be kept as virtual prisoners no more. Restore our freedom!
  • Posted by timk May 06, 2020 at 22:25

    You need to make clear - Law - Guidance - Opinion of people on the TV broadcasts I've seen plenty of conflict between all three and that makes it hard for average people to understand
  • Posted by TStrachan May 07, 2020 at 01:37

    I think people should be allowed to go outdoors to do whatever they want providing it meets certain conditions such as no close contact with people outside of your own household, does not involve using shared equipment (in playparks for example), people should be prepared to wipe down surfaces they have touched such as gate handles, the wearing of face masks be compulsory and should be no more than an hours drive from home. Common sense should apply.
  • Posted by Littld May 07, 2020 at 06:30

    I am conscious that many city centre residents in traditional tenements and modern apartment developments largely do not have access to garden areas sufficiently large to allow social distancing to be practised. Allowing people to travel further afield e.g. an hour from home would help. People would need to be prepared to provide proof of residence if requested. In France citizens had to complete a form to be carried with them, and now an app has been developed.
  • Posted by Abdnshiremum May 07, 2020 at 07:21

    We’re lucky we can cycle from the house safely and with no crowds but everyone should have this opportunity to access green space. It is particularly unsustainable for people living in flats in cities - we need everyone outside and exercising for as long as possible. Please open forestry car parks etc and give everyone access. Why not allow us to drive a specified distance (up to 20 or 25 miles to prevent people moving too far away from home) to access uncrowded outdoor spaces? The additional transmission risk would be low. However, this must still keep everyone safe on the roads - what about temporarily lowering speed limits by 10 mph - a bit of caution to keep cyclists, often now including children, safe?
  • Posted by DebbieD May 07, 2020 at 09:05

    I agree with many of the comments increasing outdoor activity needs to be kept local. Rural locations need protected from a large influx of people where there is not the same level of healthcare infrastructure to cope with spread, staff are already stretched and increasing visitors increases risk of accidents on roads and hills . In addition rural communities do not have the stock in food shops to sustain provision for local residents and visitors. Popular spots for trips could become overwhelmed as was seen at the start of lockdown in Loch Lomond, Arrochar, Glen Coe and other popular spots. Already people are ignoring lockdown and returning to popular locations parking on pavements where car parks are closed.
  • Posted by Tessa May 07, 2020 at 09:38

    I have read a lot of comments about people already adapting and adopting social distancing and my experience is they are. I still volunteer to work which means I am out and about most days and more than once a day I encounter people I don’t know who have no intention of complying with social distancing. This is also the case in not just my workplace but other organisations I am in contact with. Some days I don’t think about it and other days I feel really anxious and worry. Worry that when I am delivering something to someone who is shielding/isolating have I done enough to make sure their package is safe and have I encountered someone that day who decided they don’t have to social distance and I bring something home. I cannot imagine how our frontline workers cope. For me there is a difference between what we want and what should be done. If more people were out and about like travelling to other places for exercise does that mean the shops where I work and live are going to be needlessly busier? If we do change anything at this moment in time I think we should be making permanent changes for key workers working conditions and how as a society we can move forward in a socially just way. Not just for people who can drive a little further or afford to socially distance in activities/hobbies.
  • Posted by DennisThecat May 07, 2020 at 10:14

    Reopen the forestry commission and council car parks with guidance on how to “socially distance” park. The risk is very low for driving to these places and going for a walk with the dog or with children. But the positive effect of being able to do so outweighs that small risk
  • Posted by Outdoorfamily May 07, 2020 at 10:14

    Most of us are lucky here in Scotland that the great outdoors isn't too far from home. I think opening up outdoor spaces would be great, especially for those who live in flats or heavily built up areas. Most outdoor spaces naturally allow for 2 meter distance between people atleast. Although there are always exceptions to the rule where folks don't care or don't get it and invade your space. to this end, I would suggest that to go out, anywhere, we should now wear masks to protect each other.
  • Posted by AA1234 May 07, 2020 at 10:40

    Need to be able to leave the house more often for exercise. Living alone, working at home this is the only change of scenery there is and it is easy to walk/cycle and still be socially distant but also need to be able to do this one other person. Not only is it better for mental health but also safer and less likely that something will happen.
  • Posted by NKTC May 07, 2020 at 11:15

    The number of times people are able to go out for daily exercise should be relaxed, but the exercising in the local area, not using a vehicle and avoiding unessential travel should still apply. Otherwise people will just start to drive outwith their local area, spreading infection into other areas as well as creating problems for social distancing in honeypot locations.
  • Posted by laurahynd1 May 07, 2020 at 11:24

    There is no mention of the risk categories. My partner is shielding and I am high risk. I feel that the whole household should continue shielding to reduce the risk to my partner. I think people who are low risk should be able to go out and maintain social distancing however I see this as problematic in heavily populated areas. Perhaps allowing certain people out at certain times would be better, for example, by age, house number. Also reinforce that you can't. Meet with others out with your household.
  • Posted by nigheanmhath May 07, 2020 at 11:32

    Enforcing a work from home order for non-essential workers will greatly limit the number of contacts people have and support the NHS/emergency services.
  • Posted by GillyB20 May 07, 2020 at 12:26

    I see a lot of comments on here about being able to travel for exercise. As a resident of the Trossachs I have no problem with this until our Main Street is filled with non residents not social distancing and using our supermarkets also not obeying social distancing by taking the whole family in to shop. We have a high eldeely population and I would like to see limitations on numbers travelling to beauty spots.
  • Posted by csmcw May 07, 2020 at 13:11

    Being able to get out for more than one walk a day with my dogs , whilst maintaining social distancing, would be very beneficial. I believe that all other guidelines should remain until there is clear evidence that further reductions in restrictions are appropriate.
  • Posted by Oldknees May 07, 2020 at 13:19

    What matters - and should be rigorously enforced is social distancing. it's people to people contact that spreads the virus - not how far you go in a car, or how far you walk alone in the countryside or hills. Getting away to lonely places eases the concentration of people trying to avoid each other when exercising from home!
  • Posted by Knoydart03 May 07, 2020 at 13:40

    It is very important that car parks are not opened suddenly in areas such as the Pentland Hills, which are immediately adjacent to Edinburgh. The last weekend before lockdown saw huge numbers of people travelling to these areas, creating massive problems with traffic and issues with people management in farmland. If these car parks were opened now, when most people are not at work and have free time, the potential damage to livelihoods and health is worrying. If car parks are to be opened, it should be using a phased approach where Blue Badge holders / those carrying a medical note have priority. Whenever this occurs, there should heavy investment in Local Authority funding to ensure staff / parking attendants can be present, as well as redirection of police resources to ensure sensible use of the area. In the meantime we need clear legislation stating that it is NOT permissible to drive to take exercise. Confusion was rife in Scotland following the announcement from the NPCC recently. Guidance is not enough.
  • Posted by DRM May 07, 2020 at 14:28

    I'm sure we'd all like to have the opportunity to be "out and about" more often in the day and for longer - but what will be the "quid pro quo" to ensure that we don't increase virus transmission at the same time? Some thought should be given to appropriate "rules" to minimise virus transmission when there will be a lot more people in the same outdoor space - particularly if there is no return to working for some at the same time. Walking across an open park should be relatively straight forward - but much more of a challenge walking down a busier pavement when there are also more cars on the road these days! Walking along a beach is great but it's the first place folk will head to if car driving restrictions are eased off - the car parks will be congested! Some form of "face covering" should be required now when in high "pedestrian traffic" areas but we should also consider the added benefit of using some form of glove when in shopping or indoor areas - just to try and minimise the risk of transmission from door handles, hand rails etc. You can't easily see whether someone washes there hands properly - but you will be able to see if they are responsible enough to wear gloves at the right time. The statistics clearly show that 65+ are generally a much more vulnerable age group, even though some are still reasonably fit and healthy! So how should we protect them over the next year or so? If the outdoors are going to be busier - do we need to give some further consideration to suggested "time zones" for the "older generation" to exercise and shop? Coronavirus is going to be here for a while yet - so let's give some consideration to the "new rules" to be followed as a "quid pro quo" for more time out and about!
  • Posted by AndrewRichmond May 07, 2020 at 14:37

    I think we need t stick with the Stay at Home message for some time to come. While guidance can evolve, the message should remain that people should generally be at home. If we change the overarching message, then the public will place their own interpretation on the guidance.
  • Posted by BARRIEGADGIE May 07, 2020 at 14:59

    OK to allow return to outdoors, provided people who manage the countryside- in particular, visitor management- are protected. So, Countryside Rangers, Foresters, etc. need clear guidance and advice.
  • Posted by RosG May 07, 2020 at 15:22

    In Scotland we have a much lower population density than down south, so this seems like a really sensible next step. If necessary it could be phased in to make sure public spaces aren't overwhelmed. It would make sense to combine it with ensuring as many green spaces as possible are opened up to the public, especially in and around cities. Golf courses could also be opened up for walking
  • Posted by cathymayne May 07, 2020 at 15:33

    While the need for more outdoor time and space is very important for all, by relaxing restrictions of time away from home there is a real risk of increasing the rate of infection. By choosing to travel to a destination that has more space, it is quite possible that a large number of others will have the same idea. The experience of the first good weather weekend at the start of the lockdown is a case in point. Inevitably people living in more densely populated areas will travel to less densely populated areas to find space and in doing so, may actually be in closer proximity to others, with more problems adhering to social distancing, than if they had not travelled. Beaches and hotspots like Loch Lomondside are examples. Having taken the trouble to travel, people are less likely to leave without enjoying the location if social distancing isn’t easy or possible. And these more remote locations are harder to police and have often less good capacity to deal with the influx of potential infection. Using hill walking as an example, while out walking it may be entirely possible to adhere to social distancing but the bottlenecks of car parks, gateways etc pose real issues. I would urge the government to maintain the restrictions on travel, whether for the day or for holidays, for a long time yet.
  • Posted by fishwhisperer May 07, 2020 at 16:17

    Being able to leave home twice per day such as for exercise would be great - and provides an option for those unable to stay out for very long but for whom two short outings would be beneficial. It might be that guidance could be presented as examples such as '2 short outings of half an hour each' or '1 hour of exercise', each accompanied with the advice of 'practising social distancing at all times and ideally wearing a facial covering to minimise risk'. I would be concerned that a blanket, unlimited relaxation of the guidance will result in: (i) folk becoming complacent and thinking that all's back to the norm; (ii) overcrowded streets and paths; (iii) people heading en masse to the beach/parks/hills and them becoming overcrowded, and in such a scenario, not having a back-up plan or being willing to head elsewhere after having made the effort and the journey to get there or somehow convincing themselves that they're safe as they're outdoors.
  • Posted by BrendaRae May 07, 2020 at 16:51

    Social distancing combined with testing is the key to gradually lifting the restrictions. Staying at home worked at first because most people followed the advice. The problem is if there is no gradual easing of the restrictions that many people will simply start to ignore the advice and we will be back to square one. Clarity is also needed as we can shop for "essential" items but then there are stories of people being questioned about buying "non essential" goods. Surely the common sense approach here is that if you are in a shop, any shop, then you can buy any of the goods that are for sale in that shop.
  • Posted by lmac8355 May 07, 2020 at 17:35

    I fully support loosening the restrictions on exercising once a day for an hour near one's home. Most adults would be sensible and observe social distancing and it would be a great step forward to move beyond my home as its a housing estate and I miss the countryside and beach which is only ten minutes drive from my home. My husband was a keen golfer and we have spoken at length about keeping safe there. Only using their own equipment, sanitising the flags, no shaking hands, social distancing etc. Are all possible but would need a short car drive from home. This would greatly help his fitness and health. I realise he would be playing with someone outside his home but if the kept to the 2 meter rule they would be safe. Whatever is decided the rules need to be very clear so there is no confusion.
  • Posted by euroGLLoch May 07, 2020 at 18:18

    Social distancing is a must, face coverings are a reassuring for oneself and sight in public indoor environments (e.g. shop, bus, museum). 'Staying at home' advice for all, vulnerable and others, should be dropped. The over 70s need physical exercise (proven fact) outdoors, where transmission of Sars Cov2 is small (almost proven!?). Living in a city and in a flat makes social distancing outdoors difficult, as local parks and walkways close-by are very busy during the day. (For this reason, we are going for a short walk in the evening). Being asked to continue spending the next few month in this restricted environment would become extremely hard to comply with . We have a second home with a garden in the Highlands at a very remote location, where we normally live during the summer months and where we had planned to be from mid April. There would be no risk of catching the virus and also the added benefit of getting vitamin D, being in the fresh air, exercise through gardening (the tatties are not planted yet!), reduced anxiety about catching the virus. Social distancing of course would still apply (waving to far neighbours), including wearing a face covering during the shopping trip every two weeks or so for food. I would like to see a sensible policy, which allows all segments of the population to exercise outdoors in a varied environment (allowing some travel) , allow owners to occupy their second homes, - but keeping to strict social distancing rules and at least face coverings when in a public indoor environment.
  • Posted by NH May 07, 2020 at 20:17

    Good to get outside but if people are driving they need to go to petrol stations more often. Need disinfectants at petrol pumps. Think people should only be allowed out within a small radius of their home (not sure how you'd enforce it though). Lots of people talking about golf. Would need to wipe down flag otherwise multiple people touching and risk spread of virus.
  • Posted by Liberty May 07, 2020 at 20:41

    It is important that the people start exercising through sports and other outdoor pursuits. Non contact sports can follow the distance advice without any problems.
  • Posted by Clanchief007 May 08, 2020 at 11:52

    My wife and I are over 70 and fairly healthy and we have self isolated since the beginning. If and when controls begin to ease we realise we are still in the vulnerable group. We have a garden and we can walk in the local park. But it would be of immense help if people of our age were allowed, when controls ease, to go for a drive to another Park, or a stretch of water, where we could either stay in the car if too many people, or get out for a walk, observing the social distancing. Since our age group will be the last to return to normality, this would at least give us some stimulation. After all we won’t be able to go shopping, to church, to museums, castles, church, coffee shops or hairdressers for some considerable time. We need something to let us out of the house safely
  • Posted by FM79 May 08, 2020 at 13:48

    There is no reason to stop any activity, indoors or outdoors, if people can safely socially distance. We need to be treated like adults, if we are of an age to parent children, have jobs, drive, pay tax etc. then we are capable of making decisions regarding what we do and who we do it with.
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 08, 2020 at 14:42

    More cars on the road would make it very difficult for those of us walking locally to keep social distancing. I need to cross walk onto the roads a lot to avoid others. Car journey's aren't necessary to exercise.
  • Posted by WBRnotes May 08, 2020 at 19:31

    The streets are already getting pretty busy and social distancing can prove challenging. If the roads are busy too, then social distancing for pedestrians will be harder since walking on roads to allow social distancing in crowded areas will be much more difficult. Allowing people to exercise twice a day would be ok as long as they maintain social distancing. Others have suggested elsewhere that joggers are asked to exercise at specific times in the day since a good number of them seem not to favour social distancing. I feel sorry for the many joggers who are immensely careful to social distance since they are sometimes getting tarred with the same brush. Not sure what the solution is for this if some joggers (and indeed some people) just don't see social distancing as relevant to them. Perhaps people should have to wear masks in public?
  • Posted by jchapman88 May 08, 2020 at 19:50

    The current message is that we all have to stay at home and limit our time outside etc but the reality is police only break up large groups of people. If this were reflected in rules that allowed people to spend time outdoors in sensible and socially distanced ways their mental and physical health would be improved and there would be less animosity towards the restrictions and towards those technically breaking the rules but in ways that pose no particular risks. People can spend as long as they like in high-risk environments like supermarkets but not in wide open spaces, where they risk being hounded by police, that needs to be changed to be fairer and more consistent.
  • Posted by Free May 08, 2020 at 23:42

    The stay at home message is becoming unhelpful and causing friction and annimosity. At times I have experienced abuse for being outside exercising. We need to keep the restrictions/ regulations on social distancing and acting responsibly about not spreading the virus. Exercise outdoors the science says is great for our mental and physical health and hence improves our immune system. It would help if the government focused on improving the overall health of the nation before a vaccine is produced. This would save lives both generally and in terms of the virus. The evidence is there that anyone overweight is more likely to need hospital treatment and more likely to die of the virus. So remove restrictions on exercise and travelling to exercise and focus the enforcement on gatherings outwith households. Invest in good health and increase support the health and safety executive so businesses can get back to work in a safe way to support the economy. You have built the capacity in the health service to ensure we are not like Italy and Spain - be careful that you don't destroy the long term health of the nation and use this opportunity to promote positive health and environment.
  • Posted by Stitchwort May 09, 2020 at 10:53

    We live in a small town in the HIghlands (population c.2500), with easy access to a range of within town and countryside walks. Since 26th March we have recorded the length of our walks and the number of walkers, cyclists and runners encountered. Based on a total of 82 separate walks, we have encountered an average (mean) of 1.1 people per mile. On 24% of our walks we have encountered no one. It has proved to be a simple matter to maintain appropriate physical distancing from others. Across Scotland, in rural areas, exercise away from home poses close to zero risk of transmission of Covid 19. In such areas, there is no reason to seek to limit exercise outwith the home.
  • Posted by XR May 09, 2020 at 12:24

    The Staying at home advice is not an advice as it is enforced by law. The Scottish government should stop the lockdown and follow the Swedish model.
  • Posted by Christina May 09, 2020 at 18:10

    I find it ridiculous that people with cars are not allowed to go a bit further out from their home for their exercise. Living in the city centre of Edinburgh where everybody are crowding in the same parks because they're not allowed to go elsewhere is silly! There are so many nature walks within short distance and people who can get there should be allowed to so we don't all have to fight for space in narrow paths in the city parks.
  • Posted by Alkel May 10, 2020 at 12:09

    Exercise is vital and the virus seems to be less of an issue outdoors - so not only is a loosening here potentially beneficial to physical and mental health it is less risky than most other possible options, as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 11, 2020 at 08:01

    We need more clarity around “exercising as close to home as you can”. Please set an actual limit on this in miles from you front door that you can travel for exercise. For example in Ireland they are not allowed to travel more than 20km. Setting clear limits will remove any grey areas where people may unintentionally breaks the rules.
  • Posted by Cathol May 11, 2020 at 12:58

    The initial evidence suggested lockdown was necessary but the UK was too late, the virus had spread, studies suggest the no of asymptotic cases are higher than thought. Why are we not reacting to new evidence, its apparent that the virus is not as deadly to the general, healthy, working age population. From the stats is quite clear the most at risk groups, we should be focusing on protecting the most vulnerable and encouraging those least at risk to start getting back to normality in a sensible manner. Many of the populations mental and physical health is deteriorating. Business’s, especially those is the leisure sector, are receiving no assistance and no indication of when they will be allowed to get back to work. Small business’s are being persecuted and many will be forced into liquidation. Recent studies indicate that the majority of transmission occurred inside, yet supermarkets are literally a free for all. Outside spaces and activities should be opened upto to small groups. Those you wish/need to continue to isolate can and should, those who wish to start back at hobbies/businesses Should be allowed too. Self catering properties should be allowed to be utilised in a sensible manner.
  • Posted by EGJ May 11, 2020 at 13:30

    People need to stay at home until the government are sure its safe to move around more. Keeping the restriction stops the majority of people from moving around and helps our NHS from having to deal with a work overload. People's lives are the price we pay for moving around too soon.
  • Posted by rptcal May 11, 2020 at 18:43

    Social Distancing, face coverings and was stations are still needed.
  • Posted by geforse1 May 11, 2020 at 19:03

    Massively DISAGREE. The Government needs to start presenting the risk from Covid in a more balanced manner and compare it to other health risks eg cancer, heart disease, etc and other non-Covid risks from everyday life. People need to start thinking for themselves and make their own decisions based upon their individual risk tolerance. The Government has created a massive atmosphere of fear, particularly for the uninformed. We are democratic society that is now being led by an authoritarian Government that lacks transparency of its decisions.
  • Posted by cadatta May 11, 2020 at 21:54

    I think people should be allowed to travel further afield to exercise e.g. go for a hillwalk, whilst maintaining social distancing. We are fortunate in Scotland that we have a relatively small population and a large area of land making it easy to be remote from other people. Doing this would also ease congestion in some of the city parks we are currently. I think if this were allowed this would appease people to a greater degree. People would feel they were being trusted and would hopefully be more likely to engage with sensible practices
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