This is how far you are allowed to travel in lockdown - and the penalties for flouting the rules

Local spaces should be used for exercise where possible to avoid unnecessary travel (Photo: Shutterstock)Local spaces should be used for exercise where possible to avoid unnecessary travel (Photo: Shutterstock)
Local spaces should be used for exercise where possible to avoid unnecessary travel (Photo: Shutterstock)

Despite the UK being under lockdown since the end of March, there is still some ambiguity over what is and isn’t allowed, especially as the four nations are now all operating under slightly different rules.

Mr Johnson announced a number of changes to the current measures in a national address on Sunday (10 May), but these changes only apply to England, with Scotland, Wales and Ireland following their own guidance.

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In the worst hit parts of Italy, lockdown rules stipulated that people could no longer exercise outdoors and dog walks were limited to within 200 metres of the home.

But what do UK rules say about how far you can travel from home?

How far am I allowed to travel?

Driving during lockdown has not been completely banned, with the government stating it is allowed for four specific and essential reasons.

These include:

- Infrequent shopping for basic necessities, such as food or medicine. People should use delivery services where they can

- For exercise, either alone or with people you live with

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- For a medical need, such as a doctor or hospital visit, or to take care of the vulnerable

- To go to work, but only if this cannot be done from home

This is the guidance you should follow depending on where you live in the UK:


From Wednesday (11 May), people in England are being encouraged to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and play sports, but only with members of their household.

Visiting and sunbathing in local parks will also be allowed, along with outdoor picnics, providing social distancing guidelines are followed.

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Driving to other destinations for day trips will also be allowed.


Police Scotland advise staying local and make use of open spaces close to your home where possible to exercise, avoiding all unnecessary travel.

The cap on daily exercise has now been scrapped to allow people to exercise outdoors more than once per day.

However, Scots have been warned to avoid meeting up in groups at parks or beaches, and to avoid sunbathing, picnics and barbecues.

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Northern Ireland

It is permitted to drive to do your daily exercise providing you have a reasonable reason for needing to do so for that type of exercise.

This could include driving to a safe open space for walking close to your home.


Welsh government guidance states that you shouldn’t drive to exercise unless it is absolutely necessary.

Instead, exercise should be taken in your local area and “as close as possible to the home”.

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However, there is recognition that people with specific health or mobility issues may need to travel further than the area around their home to be able to exercise.

What reasons are not acceptable for travelling?

Travelling should only be done for the four essential reasons outlined by the government.

The following reasons are not considered acceptable to be travelling:

- Meeting or visiting family members or friends who do not live in your home. However, in England, people from two households can meet in a public place, such as a park, but must stay two metres apart from Wednesday (13 May). Visits to other people's households is still banned.

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- Shopping, except for essential reasons, such as for food and medicine

- Travel to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar. You should remain in your primary home

What are the fines for flouting the rules?

Police officers now have the power to stop and ask you where you are heading.

If they do not believe your reason for travel falls within what is considered ‘reasonable’ for leaving your home, you could be faced with a fine.

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Those who ignore the restrictions on movement could land an initial fine of £30, rising to unlimited fines for non-compliance.

In England, fines for breaching coronavirus regulations will rise from £60 to £100, while payment of the fine within 14 days will reduce the sum to £50, up from the present £30.

Repeat offenders will see the fine double for each subsequent breach to a maximum of £3,200.

Refusing to provide police with a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence.

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The Home Office said: “If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.

“However, in the first instance, the police will always apply their common sense and discretion.”