Guide to walking during the Covid 19 pandemic
EASING OF RESTRICTIONS IN ENGLAND
The easing of restrictions for exercise on 13th May will allow you to travel to undertake a walk with members of your own household. Should transmission of Covid19 accelerate, then restrictions will be reintroduced. It is therefore in everyone's interest that suitable precautions are followed when out walking. The following are some basic rules that should enhace the safety of you and others.
1. Maintain social distancing. Only walk with members of your own household and keep at least two metres away from other walkers. Be patient and courteous especially where space is restricted. Avoid congested areas near stiles and gates to ensure the two metre rule is maintained.
2. Follow basic hygene standards. Wear gloves and use disinfectant gels especially after using gates and crossing stiles.
3. Do consider local residents in rural areas. Remember, the countryside has limited health and emergency resources so avoid putting extra strain on these vital services. Some areas including Cumbria and Cornwall have expressed dismay at the relaxation of rules fearing that local residents could be subject to virus transmission. You are asked to follow any advice and stay away from tourist hotspots.
4. Make sure you walk safely and sensibily so as not to expose Mountain Rescue and other Emergency Services to a potentially infected casualty.
5. Some footpaths have been closed. Do respect these closures.
6. Do NOT travel to Wales and Scotland to go walking.
7. You must not stay overnight away from your home address.
8. Remember that amenities such as public toilets, information centres, tourist attractions and places to eat are closed.
WALKING IN WALES AND SCOTLAND
Restrictions on daily exercise in Wales and Scotland will differ from those in England. Exercise in Wales can be only be undertaken from your home and you are nopt permitted to drive to unertake exercise. Scotland still has a Stay at Home policy with exercise subject to limits. Those resident in Wales and Scotland should not drive to England to go walking
IMPORTANT UPDATE 10th May 2020 - Boris Johnson has just announced that with effect from Wednesday 13th May, people in England (NOT Wales & Scotland) can take "unlimited exercise", including sitting in your local park or driving to destinations for exercise. This change in the rules has one important caveat - you must maintain social distancing. Also please remember that you should only be walking with members of your immediate household and although the PM's statement didn't say so, I think the intention is we stay local. The PM has promised more details tomorrow.
Do follow the Government's instructions. Failure will mean more stringent rules in the future, which would probably jeopardise daily exercise including going for a walk.