Coronavirus - the latest Ramblers advice

Published: 23rd March 2020

Statement update - 12 May 2020, 4pm

We are reviewing our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority remains to protect the health of our schemes, partners, members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. So, we want to update you on what the Ramblers is doing and what we need you to do. 

Our position following latest government advice 

All Ramblers Walking for Health activities remain suspended until further notice.  This includes group walks, social activities and group meetings. 

We have also asked the Ramblers Groups and Areas to do the same. 

We are reviewing our position on individual volunteering and will provide a further update as soon as possible, once we have reflected on additional guidance due from the government. 

Although there are some changes to government guidance, the lockdown is still in force across the UK and the advice continues to be to stay at home as much as possible.  If you or anyone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms, you should continue to self-isolate. If you are clinically vulnerable (i.e. over 70 or with a listed underlying health condition) you are advised to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household. 

Updates 

All our updates will be added to the website on https://www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus

We will provide regular updates on the way the governments in Scotland, Wales and England are managing the pandemic, as well as the Ramblers response to Covid-19 and responsible walking. 

Sport England have also updated their website and continue to provide useful ideas about how to stay active for people at home. They can be accessed on https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home  

You can also find more information on walking responsibly, as well as ideas to help stay active locally via our #RoamSweetHome campaign

 

Previous statement - 16 April 2020

We are reviewing and updating our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority remains to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All Ramblers walks and activities have been cancelled until at least 31 May. 

Stay at home 

Government advice is to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus.  Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. You should: 

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • You can also still go outside once a day for a walk, run or cycle but please do so safely (see below)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times (Please follow the latest government guidance on social distancing).
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home 

Walk safely

If you chose to walk as your daily exercise, you should: 

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres (6ft) apart from anyone outside your household 
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside – for example, avoid touching gates and railings with your hands - and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • if walking your dog in areas used by other people, you should walk your dog on a lead to ensure you can safely keep 2 metres away from others. You can find further guidance for pet owners here.

Walk responsibly

We urge all walkers to respect the interests of all people who use the outdoors and follow government advice to only to walk locally, for a short period of daily exercise, to avoid crowded areas and to practice social distancing. 

If you are walking in local countryside from your doorstep, it is vital to walk responsibly. Be considerate to others and make sure you follow the Countryside Code (England and Wales) and Access Code (Scotland). You should:

  • leave gates as you find them
  • keep dogs under close control
  • follow advice on local signs
  • take litter home

Where possible, you should also:

  • avoid touching gates and railings with your hands
  • consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools, where social distancing may be difficult
  • consider avoiding popular locations and times of day if you can

Know where you can walk

The Ramblers has received queries from people concerned about path closures or access restrictions close to where they live. These closures can, in some cases, limit opportunities for people to exercise locally from their doorstep or access essential amenities.

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 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. 

We urge all walkers to follow social distancing guidance and walk safely, responsibly and considerately.

 

Previous statement - 24 March 2020

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

On Monday 23 March, the Government announced that people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a walk, run or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.

In line with previous advice, if you choose to walk for exercise you are advised to only walk locally to where you live. You should walk alone or with people from your household. You should not walk with friends or in groups. Keep 2m (6ft) distance from anyone you pass on your walk.

If you’re are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 are particularly advised to practice social distancing.

Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

Please see the Government's advice on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

If you choose to walk locally for exercise, please:

  • Do not walk anywhere that you could get in to trouble and require the emergency services.
  • Avoid touching gates, fences etc. If you do, clean your hands with anti-bac and wash your hands as soon as possible.
  • Upon returning home, wash your hands.

All Ramblers walks and social activities have been cancelled until at least 31 May

 

Previous statement - 23 March 2020

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

On Wednesday 18 March, Ramblers GB had no choice but to suspend all group walks and social activities until at least 31 May 2020.

Our current guidance is as follows:

  • We encourage everyone to only walk locally to where you live. This means only walking in places that you can access without the use of a car or public transport. Avoid busy places including popular parks, beauty spots or beaches.
  • Ideally walk on your own or with people from your household, unless you are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms when you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 should also self-isolate at home.
  • Keep 2m distance from anyone you meet during your walk.
  • Do not walk anywhere that you could get in to trouble and require the emergency services.
  • Avoid touching gates, fences etc. If you do, clean your hands with anti-bac and wash your hands as soon as possible. Upon returning home, wash your hands.

Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

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.

The best way to contact us is to first check the website link for information. If you still have questions, please get in touch via coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our offices will only have essential staff, with most Ramblers staff working from home.

Thank you for your continued support.