Coronavirus: Simon Hart’s exercise claims ‘not correct,’ says chief constable

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart's claim people can travel 15 miles to exercise have been dismissed as wrong Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Welsh Secretary Simon Hart’s claim people can travel 15 miles to exercise have been dismissed as wrong

The Welsh secretary’s claim people can travel 15 miles to exercise is “not correct,” a chief constable has said.

Simon Hart met Wales’ four chief constables and police and crime commissioners on Friday.

After the meeting he tweeted that people could travel 10 to 15 miles “to fish, play golf, surf or exercise”.

But Dyfed-Powys Police’s chief constable Mark Collins said he had only discussed with Mr Hart how those in rural areas could travel.

“I was speaking specifically around the Dyfed Powys area,” he said.

“I said it would be sensible to have a 10-mile area around the home address.”

He said Mr Hart’s tweet was “not correct” and “you should not drive to take exercise”.

Welsh Government guidelines on lockdown restrictions say “exercise should be undertaken locally – as close as possible to the home”.

Mr Hart tweeted: “Fascinating to hear from Wales’ four police chiefs today, and the commissioners too, especially on what’s permissible under lockdown.

“Consensus was that travelling 10-15 miles from home to fish, play golf, surf or exercise is fine – subject to all other distancing requirements”.

The Welsh Government said: “Our regulations require exercise to be undertaken locally.

“Our advice is that when exercising, people should stay as close as possible to home, and in general, should not drive to a location away from home.”

Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert was also at the meeting.

He said: “The conversation that Simon Hart refers to was simply a comment about a particular situation in Dyfed Powys.

“It was certainly not a view about travelling generally within Wales. The advice from us is stay local.”

A review of the guidelines is due on Thursday.

Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said at Friday’s media briefing he was being “careful and cautious” and not rushing into decisions which would risk a second peak.

He said he hoped to have something to say next week but reiterated restrictions would only be eased when safe to do so.

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