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Scotland’s runners wake up to new lockdown

New 'Stay at Home' restrictions curb club runs, but recognises importance of outdoor exercise

The latest round of coronavirus restrictions came into effect at midnight, barely 12 hours after they were announced by the Scottish government.

While the changes broadly return the country to the state of lockdown it was in last March, runners will be pleased to hear that there will be no restriction on the amount of outdoor exercise we can take each day in Lockdown 2.0. 

As the First Minister confirmed in her 'Stay At Home' statement yesterday, “It is important for physical and mental health that we can get outdoors for fresh air and exercise as much as possible.”

However, for those over the age of 12, that exercise can only be taken with one other person from one other household, and physical distancing must be observed.

To take that outdoor exercise runners must ‘travel no further than [they] need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way’. Travel to a place no more than five miles from the boundary of one’s local authority area to take exercise that ‘starts and finishes at the same place’ is still allowed.

Given the 'Stay at Home' order, scottishathletics has suspended all formal club and group activity in Mainland Scotland with immediate effect, until midnight on 31 January. All ‘real life’ athletics events sanctioned by the governing body – other than virtual events – have also been cancelled until the end of the month. 

Runners in the Islands would appear to have had a slight reprieve from the provisions of the new lockdown. While subject to the wider restrictions mandated by the government, club and group runners there can continue to train in accordance with the ‘Level 3’ guidance set out in the scottishathletics COVID-19 Framework.   

Further guidance for Scotland's coaches and elite athletes will be forthcoming, but may have little practical effect given the lack of competition, restrictions on group exercise and expected closure of many sports facilities.  

Image courtesy: Unsplash

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