18 Apr 2020

Coronavirus: How to Stay Safe While Running

With the lockdown extended for another three weeks, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the need to maintain current social distancing measures.

This has led to many unique, unprecedented challenges for society, including the limitation to one exercise session each day, which can be a walk, jog, run or cycle.

But what is safe to do? What is acceptable within the guidelines?

Covid-19 and the current pandemic

The current pandemic began around the turn of the year in China and spread swiftly across the globe, as countries initially saw single digit cases of infection turn into thousands, with the death toll also rising quickly in infected nations.

A respiratory illness, the symptoms include a dry cough, fever and shortness of breath which can lead to breathing difficulties and, in the most severe cases, death. Everyone can catch the disease, however the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk.

The UK government recently announced an extension to the nationwide lockdown, which has been in effect since March 23rd, in an effort to curb the social interaction between people as the virus takes hold.

With an increasing number of deaths – it has passed 10,000 in the UK – as a result of Covid-19, measures are in place whereby people are required to stay in their homes wherever possible, only leaving to get essential food supplies, medicines or for their only permitted stint of exercise.

Other than that, everyone has been ordered to work from home wherever possible, unless classed as a key worker.

Rules of exercising during lockdown

The government has insisted that people stay in their homes whenever possible, to avoid coming into contact with other people and risking potential transmission of the virus. One exception to this ruling, however, is for the provision of exercise, be it a walk, jog, run or cycle.

You are allowed to do this once a day, either on your own or with people from your household.

Rules of running on the road

Although there are few regulations around running on roads, there is place for a common-sense approach to how you should do it.

Always keep to the side of the road so traffic has ample opportunity to overtake you. When running, do so by running against the traffic, so you will be facing it as it approaches. This allows you to be seen by oncoming traffic, with drivers able to take the appropriate action.

Make sure to keep a note of the road traffic signals and road signs around you as you should always abide by the regulations that come with them. When sharing road space, it is important to stop at red lights and restart your run, if you wish to stay on the road, when it is safe to do so.

Wearing light-coloured clothing can help you to be a more visible presence on the road. Drivers will be able to see you better and react quicker, ensuring safe usage of the road by both parties.


Runnersworld.com provides answers to a number of running on the road questions, including:

Is it safe to run outside?

Yes, it is safe to exercise outside, as long as you apply the usual common-sense approach of being wary of traffic on the road. Running on your own and maintaining safe social distancing is important during lockdown as it restricts the risk of transmission of the infection.

Can Coronavirus be spread by sweat?

Experts are suggesting the transmission of the infection takes place through droplets from the respiratory system when people sneeze or cough when in close contact with others. It is not transmitted through people’s sweat.

Should you avoid touching traffic light buttons?

Covid-19 can live on certain surfaces for an extended period of time, with common-sense dictating that you avoid touching high-risk surfaces, or places that other people are likely to have come into contact with (handrails and doors for example). Perhaps wear gloves if you are going to touch buttons or use your sleeve or elbow to press the button instead.

If you have had an accident in a public place that wasn’t your fault or slipped or tripped in a public place, you could be eligible to make a claim. Contact our team today to find out more.

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