It is a question being widely debated at the moment: What exactly constitutes 'local' when it comes to exercise?

Following continued confusion and conflicting opinions at a time when cases of coronavirus continue to rise, Devon and Cornwall Police has spoken further in a bid to clarify the situation.

Government guidelines in this third lockdown state that you can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble.

It adds that this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

But what encompasses your 'local area'? Almost every other post on social media appears to debate the same question, with some believing this should only be within walking distance while others argue that anywhere with a couple of miles could still be called 'local'.

Additional information further down the guidelines under the travel section only adds to the confusion, where it states: "Outdoor exercise – This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)."

On the updated Devon and Cornwall Police frequently asked questions about lockdown rules, it states: "While there is no specified limit in the regulations, you are asked to remain local and walk or cycle if you can. This is to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on frontline services and the NHS."

Now, however, after further questioning from a number of confused residents, Devon and Cornwall Police has clarified what 'local' means to its officers – the ones enforcing the law.

And that is that people should not be travelling outside of the boundaries where they live.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The Government is calling for people to stay at home and only leave for a limited number of reasons, this includes for exercise. But they are asking people to do this in their local area.

"As per the Government guidance, ‘stay local’ means stay in the village, town or part of the city where you live."

The update comes after a weekend in a police control room supervisor revealed there had been more than 250 Covid breaches reported during the space on one eight and a half-hour shift, and a 'stay at home' warning was issued after one Falmouth beach car park was seen filled with vehicles.

Police control room supervisor Glenn Shuttleworth gave updates during his shift on duty on Saturday, in which he said within just over an hour officers had already attended 41 Covid breaches – and this number grew to more than 250 by the end.


Then on Sunday Falmouth resident Scott Thompson tweeted a picture of a busy car park, writing: "So if you don’t live near the beach why drive here to be near people that live near the beach?"

Falmouth town and Cornwall councillor Jayne Kirkham also pointed out that Gylly Beach Cafe was as busy as ever.

Posting on Twitter she said: "Gylly beach takeaway was absolutely heaving today, the coast path to Maenporth was the busiest I’ve ever seen it (despite being January) and the cars on the coast road were constant.

"As Cornwall Council say, rates in parts of Falmouth increased by 400 per cent a week ago. Please stay at home."


Yesterday's coronavirus update for Cornwall showed that as of 4pm yesterday, (Sunday, January 10) there had been 269 new cases recorded in the previous 24 hours.

The total number of cases in the local authority area since the start of the pandemic now sits at 8,748.

There were 1,999 cases recorded in the seven days leading up to January 5. Data from the most recent five days is not shown due to being incomplete.

This represents a weekly rate of 349.6 cases per 100,000 people.

The figures are due to be updated again later this afternoon.