For those wishing to exercise their exercise rights, the new Coronavirus regulations treat English and Welsh joggers rather differently.
Regulation 6 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 states that, “During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.” A reasonable excuse includes, under Reg.6(2), the need “to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household.”
By contrast, Regulation 8(2) of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 states that a reasonable excuse includes the need, “to take exercise, no more than once a day, either alone or with other members of the household.” [emphasis added]
The reason for this difference in treatment is unclear. It seems unlikely that the challenging Welsh topography explains why an exercise session is to be regarded as so much more exhausting than it might be on the English lowland plains. It might be suggested that, even in England, there is no ‘need’ to go out of the house to exercise more than once a day. This may be debatable, for example when issues of mental health are taken into account.
These differences in drafting demonstrate how challenging a job it will be for the police to encourage and enforce compliance with the new restrictions, while remaining understanding of the challenges that people face, and adhering to the hallowed principle of policing by consent.