The Met Office has forecast snow this weekend - but can you go sledging during lockdown?

A snow warning is in place from 3am on Saturday, covering parts of Sussex, London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

And people are already starting to ask if they can go sledging or play in the snow under currect lockdown rules.

When the Department for Health was asked if people having snowball fights or sledging would be allowed they told ITV: "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 (eg a picnic or a social meeting).

"This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area."

What do the Covid regulations say about exercise and travel?

The rules issued by the government state:

You should minimise time spent outside your home, but you can leave your home to exercise.

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

This includes but is not limited to running, cycling, walking, and swimming.

Personal training can continue if participants are from the same household or support bubble.

It can also continue if it is one-one-one, although this should only take place in a public outdoor place, and not in someone’s private home or garden.

As long as you stick to the rules - you are staying within your household or support bubble, you are with a maximum of one person from another household (at a social distance), and you have only travelled to a local area within short walking distance - it would seem that sledging and building snowmen would be permitted.

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

If you (or a person in your care) have a health condition that routinely requires you to leave home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area or exercising several times a day - then you can do so.

The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups.

This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.