Cheshire West and Chester residents asked to exercise caution and avoid busy areas to stop COVID-19
15 January 2021Residents in Cheshire West and Chester are being asked to take extra care while exercising outside during lockdown.
Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire Police are reminding residents to keep two metres away from anyone who is not part of their household or support bubble following reports of busy areas in the borough over the past weekend, including Parkgate and Delamere Forest.
Lockdown rules mean residents can go outside to exercise once a day but this has to be on their own, with their household or support bubble or, on their own, with one person from another household, but social distancing of two metres must be maintained.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “It’s so important for our mental health and physical wellbeing that we continue to get outside for exercise during lockdown.
“But we must remember when we do go out to keep social distancing from those who we don’t live with if we want to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Try to avoid busy areas as much as you can – keep your exercise ultra-local and go for a walk on your doorstep rather than driving to a park, woodland or beach and go out when it’s likely to be quieter so that it’s easier for you to keep that two-metre distance.
“We must do everything that we can to turn this around - to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect our NHS and save lives.”
The most recent data shows that there have been 574 new cases of the virus per 100,000 people in Cheshire West and Chester in the seven days to 8 January.
A new variant of COVID-19 is reported to be between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible than the previous strain, which means that people are more likely to catch it and pass it on.
Government data also shows that one in three people with COVID-19 does not have any symptoms, so can spread it without knowing.
Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “COVID-19 can still be spread outdoors if people are too close – it is vital to keep on social distancing.
“We all need to be kind and mindful of others when exercising, giving people plenty of space to pass on narrow foot paths and, if jogging, keep a good distance way from others, recognising there will be others who could be at greater risk of COVID-19 or feeling more anxious than it can appear.
“We are in a lockdown so you must stay at home and only go out for essentials or for exercise once a day, and please play your part by remembering hands, face and space whenever you do go out.”
Superintendent Julie Westgate, from Cheshire Police, said: “When we are travelling anywhere we should all be thinking, ‘is this really essential?’
“The same goes for when embarking on daily exercise and the important message of staying local.
“The guidance, not law, on what is local means your town, village or part of a city where you live. Our officers will be out and about engaging with residents, explaining the Coronavirus restrictions and the importance of staying at home.
“Obviously when there are blatant and repeated breaches of the regulations, our officers will have no choice but to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).
“Now more than ever, we really need to play our part and take responsibility for sticking to the rules and following the guidance in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Council company Brio Leisure is also delivering an online seven-day, weekly fitness timetable which consists of a mixture of live and pre-recorded workouts from fitness instructors twice a day for people to take part in at home. All workouts can be accessed on Brio’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, which include a new, continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, should self-isolate immediately and book a test by ringing: 119 or visiting the GOV.UK website.
For more information on the national restrictions visit the Council's website.