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Guide to walking during the Covid 19 pandemic

With effect from 23rd March 2020 the British Government has said that we must not leave our homes except for very limited purposes. The effect of these restrictions mean the following :-

People can undertake one form of exercise per day.

People from the same household can exercise together or alone.

Walking with people who do not live with you is not permitted.

Exercise includes walking and should not involve unecessary travelling.

27th March 2020 - there has been clarification that you should not drive to the start of a walk. Walks should start from home. Police in Derbyshire have been using drones to identify visitors disobeying this 'rule'. Shropshire Police have been leaving notes on cars used by walkers asking them to stop driving to the start of a walk.

Walking in a group where the people do not live in the same household is NOT permitted.

When out for exercise you should still adhere to social distancing requirements - keep at least two metres away from other people at all times.

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.

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Many areas have asked visitors to stay away. These include the Lake District where visitors are NOT WELCOME. Cornwall, Wales including Snowdonia, Yorkshire and The Scottish Highlands have all echoed this sentiment. No doubt other areas feel the same way. Remember rural areas have limited health resources which are there for the benefit of the local population.

The National Trust has closed all of its parkland and gardens to everyone including NT Members.

Many public parks remain open although some have closed to the public.

All walkers are asked to avoid busy areas and ensure that they maintain social distancing.

The Health Secretary (afternoon briefing 24th March 2020) has restated that the restrictions introduced by the PM on Monday evening are not requests and must be obeyed.

Tuesday 31st March 2020 - the Police have said that they are powerless to stop people walking in the countryside. The reposrt on BBC News stated - Derbyshire Police was accused of "shaming" those who headed to the beauty spot amid a UK-wide lockdown. Chief constable Peter Goodman says it was "right that there is no power to stop people going walking in the country".

Friday 3rd April 2020 - The Welsh government says it has already shut some of the busiest paths, including those in Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, where crowds flocked for exercise at the start of the restrictions.


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