Categories: Press


Published date : 12 May 2020

Exercising more than once a day is the only change in advice for Scotland as Scotland’s First Minister says health, family and community come first

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, is advising her constituents to continue to follow Scottish Government advice to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives during the current Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, addressed the nation on Monday evening [11 May] and confirmed that the advice remains the same as it has been – stay at home except for essential purposes such as exercise, or buying food or medicines – but people can now exercise outside more than once a day.

Prime Minister Boris Johnston also made a UK-wide televised address on Sunday, 10 May, in which he announced a number of changes to lockdown restrictions that apply to England only.

Exercising more than once a day

Exercise activities, such as walking, jogging or cycling, should continue to be undertaken close to home. Those going out to exercise should either go alone or with members of their household.

The change to daily exercise does not allow people to mix with people from different households, to gather in groups, or to go out to relax outdoors.

The First Minister agreed the change following scientific advice using the framework set out by the Scottish Government last month. It was agreed that the timing was right to make the change because the impact on the vital R number, or reproduction number that tells us how easily the virus can spread, would be very limited.

On Thursday, 7 May, the First Minister confirmed that lockdown measures will remain in place in Scotland and they will be reviewed again on 28 May.

Commenting, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:

“I ask my constituents to stick with the clear advice from the Scottish Government for a while longer. Please stay at home except for essential purposes such as exercise, or buying food or medicines.

“As the weather has been improving, it is welcome news that we can all spend more time exercising outdoors to help us maintain good physical and mental health – but please continue to exercise either alone or with members of your household.

“By sticking to the lockdown measures in Scotland, we have made real progress to slow down the spread of the virus. However, we are now at a critical point in our fight against the virus.

“The R number remains too high in Scotland and easing up restrictions here could risk a rapid increase in infections and hospital admissions.”

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:

“Seven weeks ago the virus was spreading out of control. Today, it is in retreat. For the first time since the epidemic started, the number of deaths registered in a single week fell. So the progress is real and it is down to you.

“But our progress is still fragile. If we ease up too soon, the virus could run out of control again. That would mean more people dying and all of us staying in lockdown much longer.

“And the important R number – the rate at which the virus reproduces – is still uncomfortably close to one. If it exceeds one, the virus could rapidly take off again. That is why the Scottish Government is exercising such care and caution.

“If you want to exercise outdoors more than once a day, you can now do so. But otherwise we are asking you to stick with lockdown for a bit longer – so that we can consolidate our progress, not jeopardise it.

“Except for essential work that can’t be done at home, going out for food and medicine, or for exercise – please continue to stay at home.

“For all of us, I know it’s getting harder but let’s keep supporting each other even as we stay apart.

Let’s remember what matters most – health, family, community.

“Staying at home now is an expression of love, kindness and solidarity. We are doing it for each other, not just ourselves. It is how we protect each other, protect our NHS, and save lives.”


Editors notes

Read the First Minister’s statement to the nation on 11 May 2020 in full here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/first-minister-address-nation-11-2020/

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