Outdoor sports venues to close but playgrounds will be allowed to stay open under new Covid lockdown rules

OUTDOOR sports venues will shut but playgrounds will remain open under England's new Covid lockdown rules.

Boris Johnson has tonight ordered everyone in England to stay at home until mid-February as he launched an emergency shutdown to try and save Britain's NHS.

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“Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and
swimming pools, must close,” says the government’s guidance.

Plus, you should minimise time spent outside your home.

As a result of England's third national lockdown, "it is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble", the guidance adds.

Specifically, you can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (for example to have a picnic or a social meeting).

This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place by yourself; with the people you live with; with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one); in a childcare bubble where providing childcare; or, when on your own, with one person from another household.

Public outdoor places include:

● parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
● public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
● the grounds of a heritage site
● playgrounds

When around other people, stay two metres apart from anyone not in your
household – meaning the people you live with – or your support bubble.

The announcement came as:

  • Boris Johnson ordered the nation to stay at home until middle of February from tonight, January 4
  • The PM ordered the closure of all schools and non-essential shops for at least the next six weeks
  • UK and international trips are banned across England with a £200 fine for breaking rules
  • Tonight the Covid-19 alert level was raised to five – the first time it has hit the highest rating
  • Brits were told they can meet just ONE person from another household to exercise outside under the new national lockdown
  • But support bubbles will remain in place during the intervention

Visiting loved ones in their homes – or even gardens – will be banned under the new rules to control the spread of a mutant new strain of Covid.

Mr Johnson said: “We now have a new variant of the virus, and it’s been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading.

“Our scientists have confirmed this new variant is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.

“Our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid, than at any time since the start of the pandemic."

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