Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place

20th April 2021

Updated on 20th April 2021

 

The government have updated their restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and to help manage the pressures on the health and social care system. During this time, the single most important action we can all take is to follow the public health advice.

The current regulations will be reviewed on 13th May 2021.

The following information has been taken from NI Direct and applies specifically to undertaking outdoor recreation:

  • Travel: To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading you should stay in your local area. If you go somewhere and there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult, consider going somewhere else instead.
  • Outdoor Gatherings: Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors. You should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
  • Outdoor Areas, Visitor Attractions & Activity Centres: Outdoor parks, play areas, outdoor areas of properties operated by the National Trust and the outdoor areas of stately homes, historic homes and castles are permitted to remain open. From 23rd April outdoor visitor attractions and activity centres may reopen.
  • Outdoor Exercise & Sports:
    • Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can take part in outdoor exercise or sports activities.
    • Up to 15 people (including coaches) can take part in structured outdoor sports training, through clubs or individuals affiliated to recognised sport’s governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity.
    • Outdoor sports facilities can re-open but only to permit their use for those allowed in the regulations. Club houses and indoor sports facilities (changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must stay closed.
    • From 23rd April squad training can resume, as well as competitive outdoor sports. No spectators are permitted and numbers (including officials, participants, management and support personnel) should be restricted to the minimum number required for the delivery of the event and should not exceed 100
    • The return to sport protocols put in place by sport’s governing bodies should be strictly adhered to including hygiene measures, social distancing and other mitigations. Sport NI has provided further guidance for governing bodies / representative organisations on the Pathway out of Restrictions for Outdoor Sport.

 

Spending time outdoors can significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing. To stay safe outdoors, you should follow the ‘Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place’ guidance by:

  1. Planning ahead – check if your destination will be open and what facilities are available
  2. Respecting the emergency services – now is not the time to end up in hospital
  3. Scaling back your ambitions – choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities
  4. Parking with care – careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents
  5. Avoiding peak times and popular sites to help maintain social distancing
  6. Bringing and using hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  7. Respecting the wishes of landowners, local communities and other users of the site
  8. Keeping at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or bubble where possible
  9. Not leaving your house if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you are self-isolating
  10. Taking your litter home with you
  11. Keeping your dog under control
  12. Enjoying nature but do not disturb it
  13. Only starting fires in designated BBQ areas

 

For the most up to date status of key outdoor recreation guidelines please visit NI Direct.