Michael Gove warned the public to limit daily walks to a maximum of one hour before a tightening of national blockade rules. Joggers, he said, should limit their runs to 30 minutes.
Gove, government minister and one of the prime minister’s most trusted aides, admitted that the United Kingdom is facing a “significant period” of blockade. It did not contest the latest indications from experts suggesting that the measures could remain in effect until June.
The prospect of further draconian rules stems from a former police chief’s concern that officers from some parts of the UK are “very high” in enforcing the coronavirus blockade. The former high officer, who did not wish to be named, said it was “ridiculous” that a force had sent a drone to spy on dog sitters in the Peak District and warned people not to drive in the event of an accident.
Police continued to make arrests and impose fines for violating coronavirus rules – including breaking a karaoke party in Derby – while British national parks issued a joint statement telling the public “to stay home and help stop them.” the spread of Covid-19 “.
Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said that although “it depends on the physical fitness of each individual … I would have thought that for most people an hour-long walk or a 30-minute ride or a bike ride between that’s appropriate. “
Gove acknowledged the extent of the “sacrifice” in a television interview, but said he could not “make an accurate prediction” about how long it should take. Boris Johnson is writing in every home in the country with a warning of more stringent measures to come.
Gove declined to say what the strictest rules could be, but the public could find themselves confined to their homes except for a short exercise and shopping for essential groceries.
Gove declined to be drawn from a key June scientist’s estimates to ease the blockade, adding: “I can’t make an accurate prediction, but everyone has to prepare for a significant period when these measures are still in place.”
The prospect of a longer and stricter blockade prompted a former senior officer to urge the police to show “common sense”. The former chief said, “Some of the coronavirus’ police activities have been much higher. People walking in the countryside in quiet areas are the best thing they can do. This is clearly serious, but one or two senior officials are having a little too much fun. “
Some forces have set up roadblocks to prevent hikers from driving into the countryside and in Derbyshire, the force drone unit has been deployed to spy on dog walkers on an almost empty hill in the Peak District.
The National Council of Police Chiefs said data on the number of on-the-spot fines issued for violating emergency coronavirus laws were not yet available. The Derbyshire police said they had organized a karaoke party in a house in a city suburb. The force said in a statement on Twitter: “The officers just attended an address in a state of absolute shock to find 25 adults and children who organized a large party with speakers and karaoke. Everyone dispersed and the hosts took care of. It is clear that people continue to completely ignore the government’s advice and rules. “
In Leeds, a 13-year-old boy was arrested and taken into custody for breaking new coronavirus blocking lawsuits after refusing to give his name to the police. He was arrested under the Health Protection Regulation (Coronavirus, Restrictions) 2020, which empowers the police to order members of the public to return home or leave an area.
Cleveland police said officers have issued eight fixed penalty notices for people who have failed to comply with government regulations in the past two days.
Cumbrian police, who attempted to block access to the Lake District, investigated four people for coronavirus violations, including a 24-year-old man who could give police “no reason” to be in downtown Whitehaven in the weekend and three men in Carlisle host a house party.