WITH local lockdown coming into force in Newport and Blaenau Gwent from 6pm tomorrow, how will this impact gyms and our exercise?

Gyms will be able to remain open, but they must take "all necessary measures" to manage the risks and maintain social distancing.

Outdoor sports will also be allowed to continue, but in both cases you must not leave the area to do so.

Similarly, anyone living outside of Newport or Blaenau Gwent must not travel to those areas in order to exercise or visit a gym.

This is what you need to know:

Can gyms and leisure centres remain open?

Yes they can, as long as they can maintain all the safety requirements to protect people from the risk of coronavirus.

The Welsh Government guidance says: "Gyms and leisure centres have to put measures in place to ensure social distancing and good hygiene.

"They may also need to stop certain activities where people are in close contact because the risk of spreading the virus in the area is higher.

"As gyms and leisure centres are indoor public places, you will need to wear a face covering when you go there and you will need to keep it on depending on what you are doing.

"If you are preparing to exercise, changing or undertaking any activity that isn’t strenuous, especially when in close contact with other people, you will need to wear a face covering.

"However, there may be circumstances where the layout of the premises and the nature of the exercise you are doing mean that it would not be reasonable to expect you to wear a face covering.

"The World Health Organisation advises against wearing a face covering when exercising as sweat can make a face covering become wet more quickly, making it difficult to breathe and promoting the growth of microorganisms.

"It advises the important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance from others."


Can I travel to and from the area to take part in sport?

No you can't. Welsh Government guidance states that only professional sportspeople or elite athletes, designated by Sport Wales, can go to and from the area for sport.

Travelling to and from the area for amateur sport is not allowed.

When it comes to cycling, you must remain within the boundary of the local authority.

Though cycling to work, or for work, is allowed if you can't work from home.

However, some people with mobility problems may be able to travel for exercise if they have a reasonable excuse.

The Welsh Government guidance says: "For example, some wheelchair users or users of mobility scooters may not be able to exercise immediately outside their homes for practical reasons.

"In such circumstances the journey should be to the nearest convenient accessible location."

Who can I play sport or exercise with?

Welsh Government guidance says: "You can only play sport or exercise with others from within the local authority area as long as you maintain social distancing, all reasonable steps are taken to minimise risk, and only do so in groups or classes of up to 30 people."