ON Monday, the prime minister made it clear that the UK was on lockdown. The conditions for leaving your home were also written in simple English so that everybody would understand. To ensure the message was received, I and many others received a text message outlining the conditions once again.

One of the things that was stated was you were allowed to leave your home once a day to exercise.

I have walked my dog every day at Baiter and Whitecliff for the last five years. I know many dog walkers and as normal I saw 10 people that I normally see on a daily basis today. The one big difference today was everybody kept their distance. We gave each other a wave and carried on walking. Basically, we were being responsible and listening to the advice the prime minister was giving us. Knowing all too well that his advice was coming from top scientists.

Five minutes from the end of my walk I was approached by four people. They were not young teenagers. They were possibly in their 30s. Two women and two men. As they got closer I panicked and started to walk in the opposite direction. One of them shouted: “We don't have the plague, we’re on a day away. We only want to know how to get to Poole Park.” I was shocked and didn’t want any confederation with these people so I quickly said “Oh, my dog’s not very friendly”, which is definitely not true, and walking backwards away from the people, I told them how to get to Poole Park. I then asked them where they were from and when they replied London I was shocked and questioned whether it was safe to even be outdoors to exercise when there were selfish idiots travelling from an area with a large number of cases of the virus to Poole for a day away on the first day of UK lockdown.

Poole has a huge elderly population. Some of my dog walking friends are in their 70 s although I’m only in my 50s and I really, really wish that more could be done to safe guard innocent people who are law-abiding citizens to ensure that their safely is top priority.

Obviously I did not expect to come face to face with somebody who didn’t even live in the Poole area today.

I think that this situation could be minimised if, on leaving your home, you must carry proof of your address and your passport or photo ID. If this was a mandatory condition on leaving your home and spot checks were being done, then it would keep local people safer which in turn would put less pressure on Poole and Bournemouth hospitals.


Gough Crescent, Poole