Coronavirus – Ramblers advice from the 23 June 2020

We are reviewing our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority is to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and to help suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  

The easing of lockdown measures allows more freedom for walkers. However, the advice remains to limit your contact with others. 

We are delighted that some Ramblers volunteering activities can now be done safely and in line with the latest government advice – read more. 

Unfortunately at this stage, all Ramblers group walks remain suspended. However, we are putting plans in place for small Ramblers group walks to be able to restart in line with the relevant government rules in England, Scotland and Wales. Further information will be provided on this shortly.

Government rules

Rules for contact with others have recently been updated and there are now significant differences between England, Scotland and Wales. Under the new rules:

  • People in England can exercise with up to five others from different households provided physical distancing guidelines are followed. People living alone or single parents with children under 18, can meet outdoors or stay at one other household in a “support bubble”. Read more.
  • In Scotland, members of three different households – up to eight people – can meet outdoors locally, provided physical distancing guidelines are followed.
  • In Wales, people from two different households can meet each other outdoors – with no limit on the number of people – provided physical distancing guidelines are followed.

Our advice to walkers

Whether alone, with your family or with members of another household, we advise all walkers to:

1 – Be prepared 
Some hotspots could be busy and facilities such as car parks, shops and especially toilets may be closed or access reduced, so plan ahead before setting out – including checking the relevant website for your destination.  Some locations remain closed to visitors

2 – Be safe
Support our NHS, emergency services and rescue teams by avoiding riskier outings and abiding by the latest guidance for EnglandWales and Scotland including on hygiene and physical distancing – particularly if you meet anyone from another household.  

If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home. People 70 and over, those with certain underlying conditions and pregnant women are more vulnerable than others, and so are advised to take particular care to avoid contact with others.

3 – Be considerate 

Be sensitive to rural communities if considering travelling further from home to walk.  In many cases, the best option will be to stay local and explore the local area on foot.  Make sure you follow the Countryside Code (England and Wales) and Access Code (Scotland). 

There is also nation-specific government advice regarding travel, which all walkers should observe:

  • In England you can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance, as long as you can return the same night and do not put others at risk because of services you may need in the time you are away. Read more.
  • In Scotland walkers should continue to stay local. You can travel up to about five miles for exercise before starting out. Read more. 
  • In Wales you must continue to stay local – within five miles as a “general rule”. Read More.

Know where you can walk 

Guidance is changing regularly and the rules for accessing the outdoors differ in England, Wales and Scotland. For an overview of the situation in each nation, including any restrictions on public access, click here. If you are concerned that a path has been blocked illegally or restrictions have been put in place unlawfully, please report this to your local authority.  

Questions

We are working to keep our members, volunteers and partners updated with the latest information on our response to COVID-19 virus via our usual communications channels. This webpage will be updated with the latest information, and will support members and volunteers in communicating how Ramblers GB is responding to the COVID-19 virus.