Lockdown dog walking restrictions eased in England

Article by Team Dogby

The Dogby team is spread across the UK, each working from home with their own canine companions.

There’ll be some happy dogs around England now that government guidance regarding walks during lockdown has changed.

At the start of England’s third national Covid-19 lockdown, government guidelines restricted each person to exercising outdoors once per day. That led to a dog walking dilemma for households where there were more dogs than people or where dogs needed more than one walk per day. Break the guidance or ration walkies?

Since January 13th, government guidance in England has changed. At the time of writing, the government coronavirus guidance website states that you may leave your house to walk your dog:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you’re legally permitted to form one)
  • or, when on your own in a public outdoor space, with one person from another household

Crucially, it goes on to say, “you can go out more often if you need to walk your dog but should limit this where possible”. As expected, you should maintain social distancing while walking your dog and maintain good hygiene.

What about Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland?

In Scotland, you can walk your dog as often as necessary, so long as you socially distance. However, there is further guidance for people who are self-isolating, professional dog walkers, and other groups who have different needs.

In Wales, dog walking falls under the general guidance for exercise outdoors. That means you can leave home to walk your dog as often as you need, so long as you stay local and maintain social distancing.

Northern Ireland’s government website doesn’t offer specific guidance for dog walking.

This information is correct at the time of writing but you should always check the UK national government website if in England or your devolved authority’s own website for current guidance.

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