By Melinda Nettleton, Senior Solicitor SEN Legal
We all want to do the right thing if we can, we know it's important.
Exercise has never been limited to once a day despite the original suggestion on the Governments FAQs that there was a once a day limit. The actual Regulation [which is law, FAQs aren’t] is Regulation 6 (2) of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) ( England) Regulations 2020 No 350 which lists exercise as a reasonable excuse for being out. There is no once a day limit mentioned in Regulation 6(2).
The problem with a conflict between guidance and law is the potential suspicion and consequent hassle it creates , particularly as many with learning difficulties on a casual glance may look fine and consequently attract unwanted attention. Fortunately the guidance has now been clarified and now refers to health conditions that require you to leave home, including if that involves travel beyond your local area. The guidance then gives as examples learning difficulties or autism that require specific exercise in an open space two or three times a day ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.
The idea of a Care Plan agreed with a Medical Professional is of course ill informed, but when going out take evidence of the learning difficulty with you. Not everyone has a Care Plan, other alternatives would be your EHCP or NHS letter of diagnosis.
If stopped, keep calm, keep your voice down and ask others to keep their voices down too, then produce your evidence of disability and explain that there is no limit preventing you from going out for much needed exercise.