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Can I still go for a walk despite the new lockdown?

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

From midday today thousands of businesses will close their doors in the latest and most dramatic move yet by government to slow the spread of COVID-19.

From midday today thousands of businesses will close their doors in the latest and most dramatic move yet by government to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The new restrictions are in addition to the pre-existing self-isolation and social distancing measures that restrict indoor and outdoor gathering of large groups of people.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MARCH 21: A beachgoer wearing a mask walks at Ipanema Beach during a lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the (COVID-19) coronavirus pandemic.

With thousands of people now spending more time indoors, particularly those now working from home, getting some fresh air and time away from our computer screens and televisions is more important than ever. 

But are you still allowed outside and is it safe to take your daily jog?

Do the new restrictions prevent outdoor activity?

Pubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, entertainment venues, religious gatherings and places of worship are among the list of places being forced to close, while restaurants and cafes will be limited to home delivery services.

These are classified as stage one restrictions and so far, the lockdown does not extend to confining individuals to their homes.

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People jog along the beach promenade Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last night restrictions on individual movement were "not measures that have been contemplated at this point".

This means your daily walk to the park or run around the block won't be impacted, however there are outdoor social distancing measures in place and it's possible you may need to change your route.

Outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more have been banned and these measures are becoming more heavily enforced as was seen at Bondi Beach, now empty after police were forced to step in after thousands swarmed to Sydney's eastern suburbs over the weekend.

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The virus is thought to most commonly spread through particles in the air released when we talk, cough and sneeze.

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The venues affected by the shutdown measures.

To avoid the spread of the virus through these small droplets, health authorities strongly advise you stay at least 1.5 metres away from the person next to you, whether that be at the supermarket, intimate gatherings and in all outdoor settings.

"We need all Australians to be following the health advice when it comes to keeping a healthy distance and observing the limits that relate to gatherings," Mr Morrison said.

"Whether they be outdoor or whether they be indoor. This is incredibly important.

"The failure of our public to do that will put people at risk and make it extremely difficult for governments to be able to take actions that can control the flow and spread of this virus."

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In this March 12, 2020 photo, people walk on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. The spring of coronavirus feels a lot like the summer of oil to residents along the Gulf Coast. Bars and restaurants are empty in Florida because of an invisible threat nearly a decade after the BP oil spill ravaged the region from the ocean floor up.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy has stressed the need to adapt to the changing times, saying "we have to live differently" in order to save lives and protect society against the coronavirus.

So while outdoor activities aren't banned, you may be safer taking a less popular route, avoiding busy parks or outdoor exercise areas, and remaining a safe distance away from other people.

How countries around the world have dealt with lockdowns

A number of other countries have implemented "shelter in place" or similar kinds of restrictions, some of which limit certain outdoor activities.

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Scenes of empty streets and popular tourist locations deserted have flooded the internet, with many nations prohibiting outdoor activities altogether.

Venice, Italy

A number of states in the US have provided curfews and age restrictions to regulate who can leave their homes and when. For example, in California, seniors over the age of 65 are not permitted to leave their homes unless for a medical appointment. 

They are otherwise advised to stay indoors and not attend supermarkets or other shops.

In France, police are able to issue a fine if you are outdoors without a written permission slip justifying your reason for being out. In France you are still permitted to take a walk, however any outdoor gatherings for informal sports such as a game of outdoor basketball are strictly prohibited.

Source: 9News

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