Exercise rules could be relaxed too if schools reopen in March – but pubs are likely to stay closed until at least May, according to reports.
has asked officials to look at ways the Government could ease rules on exercise to help Brits who are struggling with their mental health during lockdown.
Restrictions currently allow one person to meet with one other individual from a different household for exercise.
Ministers are considering allowing people the freedom to exercise with someone else more than once a day
Another option is to permit socially distanced exercise in groups of three or four, although ministers believe this would be difficult to police.
Officials will also look at if people can play outdoor sports at a social distance, but a source told the MailOnline this is unlikely to happen.
They said: ‘Schools will be first and everything else will have to take its place after that.
‘The only exception might be exercise. The PM keeps coming back to social contact – is there anything we could do to help a bit?
‘Could we do a bit more on exercise to help with people’s mental health? That is being looked at.’
Non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers could open in April but pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes may have to wait until May, according to reports.
England’s third lockdown is said to have spurred an ‘unprecedented mental health crisis’.
Mental health charity Mind recorded 9,580 views on its pandemic support page on the day the Prime Minister announced the harsh restrictions.
Full lockdown is set to continue until at least March 8, Mr Johnson said last week.
In the week beginning February 22, a ‘road map’ to lead England out of lockdown will be published by a Cabinet Office task force.