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National lockdown restrictions

National lockdown restrictions


The new set of lockdown restrictions for England has been introduced.

Please remember to:

  • Stay at home
  • Exercise locally
  • Protect the NHS and emergency services
  • Stay safe.

The national lockdown restrictions say you must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse.

You may leave home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible.

Exercising and meeting other people

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

Outdoor exercise 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).

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • playgrounds.

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

When around other people, stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household – meaning the people you live with – or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay one metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).

Full details about the national restrictions are available on the Government website at

Exercising locally in the New Forest

Park and drive responsibly

Most Forestry England car parks are open for local outdoor exercise once per day. Parking is not allowed anywhere other than within the official car parks. Please do not park on grass verges or block gates. Forestry England has taken the decision to leave most of its car parks open for several reasons. ‘We are concerned that closing them would lead to large amounts of parking on verges and open ground that could block narrow roads and cause real and irreversible damage to the landscape.’
Map of Forestry England car parks in the New Forest

Stick to the marked trails
With our health and emergency services under such intense pressure please only cycle on routes you know well and that are well within your ability level. It’s particularly important that cyclists stick to marked and designated cycle trails in the New Forest, which is a highly protected landscape. There are over 100 miles of off-road waymarked cycle routes in the New Forest and we encourage cyclists to stay on these all year round.

For cycling and walking routes from your home, check out our routes map or download our free walking routes app.

Please remember the Forest is home to many grazing animals and wildlife that can be made ill from litter that people leave behind. Please help us keep the New Forest a tidy place for people and safe place for animals by being responsible for your own rubbish.

Thank you for helping us look after our precious landscape by treating it with respect and following the New Forest Code.

Further information for residents

New Forest tips stay open during lockdown:

Hampshire County Council’s recycling centres will stay open. Please consider whether it is essential that your waste is disposed of at this time; if you can store your waste safely at home please do so. You must register your vehicle first and book an appointment.

See further lockdown advice from Hampshire County Council.

Help for businesses:

Coronavirus support for businesses – New Forest District Council

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