Members of same household may exercise together, Government confirms

Department of Taoiseach clarifies Covid-19 rules about exercising within 2km radius

A man goes stand up paddleboarding at  Grand Canal Dock, Dublin.Photograph: Tom Honan

A man goes stand up paddleboarding at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin.Photograph: Tom Honan


Members of the same household are allowed to take physical exercise together under Government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of the Taoiseach has confirmed.

The Government clarification comes after some confusion emerged around whether families and couples could exercise together under the stricter restrictions on social and commercial life brought in last week.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Friday that citizens must stay at home with limited exceptions and could only leave only to shop for food or to exercise within 2km of their homes. It was later clarified that people could travel beyond the 2km point to do their shopping.

It initially appeared that people would only be able to leave their homes individually creating real concern for families with children.

However, a spokesman from the department of the Taoiseach has confirmed to The Irish Times that all people living in the same household may exercise together.

“Once people are living in the same household they can take brief physical exercise together – once they stay within 2km of their home and always maintain 2 metres distance between themselves and other people,” he said.

The current, more stringent restrictions are to remain in place until at least Easter Sunday, April 12th. All citizens must remain at home unless they need to travel to and from work where the work is in essential health, social care or another essential service that cannot be done from home.

People may also leave their homes to attend medical appointments or collect medicines or for vital family reasons such as providing care to children, the elderly or vulnerable people. People may also leave their homes to shop for food or household goods or to collect a meal.

People may also leave home for farming purposes involving food production and the care of animals.

A system of ‘cocooning’ has also been introduced for people over the age of 70 or those who are medically vulnerable. People who fall into these categories are advised not to leave their homes at all, even if they feel fit and well.