Have your say: How much exercise do you plan on doing as lockdown eases?

Ross McGuinness
·2 min read
Players in action at Astro Kings 5-a-side football venue in Bilborough, Nottingham, following the easing of England's lockdown to allow far greater freedom outdoors. Picture date: Monday March 29, 2021.
A five-a-side football match at the Astro Kings venue in Bilborough, Nottingham, on Monday, following the easing of England's lockdown. (PA)

People across England flocked to outdoor swimming pools and golf courses on Monday as the country’s coronavirus lockdown eased.

From the beginning of this week, outdoor sports facilities such as golf clubs, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, football and cricket pitches have reopened.

Groups of up to six, or two households, are now able to socialise in parks and gardens.

The easing of restrictions has coincided with a spell of warm weather, with temperatures reaching 20C in parts of England on Monday and similar levels forecast for Tuesday.

On Monday, golfers teed off at just after midnight and swimmers dived into outdoor pools from dawn to make the most of the restrictions easing.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said on Monday: “I am personally thrilled that I will be able to play tennis, for instance.

“Without being remotely preachy, I do hope that we can take advantage of this moment and the beautiful weather to play sport, to take exercise, to have fun and build our national resilience in that way too.”

Organised team sports can also resume outdoors, meaning grassroots competitions can take place ahead of the Easter break without the need for social distancing.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he planned on playing football on Monday evening.

“I’m very much looking forward, this evening, to playing my first game of five-a-side for some time,” he said.

“So I will be out there, on the pitch, enjoying the fact that today I can shout and scream and go around the football pitch and have that game of five-a-side.”

However, Johnson has urged people to remain cautious.

“I know how much government has asked of the people in the last year, but I also know how magnificently – incredible patience and fortitude – people have responded,” he said.

“It’s my view, overwhelmingly, people are determined to continue to do that and they do understand the need for caution.”

Under the prime minister's roadmap, gyms can reopen no earlier than 12 April.

Read more: Boris Johnson ‘thrilled’ to be able to play tennis

Watch: Surfing, golf and relaxing in the park as England's lockdown is eased