PRITI Patel has caused further confusion on the lockdown exercise rules after she appeared to say Brits should be exercising alone – not with one other person.
The Home Secretary stressed when people are cycling or running they should be on their own – despite the rules saying people can do so with one other person.
Speaking with Holly and Phil on This Morning today, she said: “I think the clarity is exercising on your own and not socialising.”
Dicussing the PM’s bike ride last weekend she added: “It was safe and it was isolated but the point is exercise on your own and don’t use it as a social meeting.
“Cycling is fine because you’re on your own, running is on your own.”
People should keep to themselves and not socialise, she said.
Earlier this week Matt Hancock had stressed he did not want to scrap the exercise rule, which allows people to meet one other outside to exercise – such as walking, running or cycling.
They must stay a social distance from each other while they do this, and shouldn’t use it as an excuse to socialise, ministers have said.
Mr Hancock said it was a “lifeline” and he didn’t want to have to ban it completely as it would impact people who lived alone harder.
This morning Ms Patel also slapped down a Covid marshall who was trying to tell off a runner for breathing too heavily and not wearing a mask outside.
She was confronted with a video where a Covid marshall appeared to be rapping a jogger for taking his daily exercise and “breathing heavily”.
The marshall also told him: “Running is not allowed.”
But the person taking the video pointed out this was permitted, and there was no rule to wear a mask outside.
The Home Secretary also insisted it wasn’t necessary for people to wear a mask while they are exercising – as she promised there would be no new Covid rules brought in “today or tomorrow”.
The Home Secretary replied that it was perfectly legal for people to take their daily exercise, even without a mask, adding: “You can’t run and wear a mask, that’s not practical and non sensible.
“Exericse is a part of our health and wellbeing, it’s incredibly important.”
She also said there was a key difference between marshals and the police, and only cops can hand out fines.