Covid-19 Guidance2020-08-03T12:31:54+01:00

Covid-19 Guidance

We’re following government and NHS guidance closely, and have made some arrangements to protect people and help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

One Step Walkers takes the health and wellbeing of our walk leaders, volunteers and walkers very seriously.

And we want to do everything we can to protect people and curb the spread of the virus as much as possible.

Advice on walking during the Covid-19 outbreak

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

England

From 30th July, all activities can resume – including group walks up to a maximum of 30 people. Please follow the latest advice, and practise physical distancing. You should maintain a distance of 2m between people from different households, or 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings or avoiding face-to-face contact) where 2m is not possible. Some areas of the country may have additional local restrictions in place. We advise that you always refer to the latest government guidance regarding restrictions that may apply in your local area.

Scotland

In Scotland, from 10 July people can meet outdoors in groups of up to 15, from a maximum of five households, while maintaining 2m distance between households.

Wales

In Wales, all activities can resume – including group walks up to a maximum of 30 people. Please follow the latest advice, and practise physical distancing. You should maintain a distance of 2m between people from different households, or 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings or avoiding face-to-face contact) where 2m is not possible. Some areas of the country may have additional local restrictions in place. We advise that you always refer to the latest government guidance regarding restrictions that may apply in your local area.

Our advice to walkers

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

  • 1 – Be prepared
    Make sure your destination is open and ready to receive visitors

  • 2 – Be safe
    Continue to maintain good hygiene and physical distancing and self-isolate if you are showing coronavirus symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who is infected.

  • 3 – Be considerate
    Be sensitive to rural communities if considering travelling further from home to walk and make sure to 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 irrespective of distance, but you should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

  • In Scotland, there is no limit on leisure travel in the majority of the country.
  • In Wales you can travel to parks, beaches, visitor attractions and beauty spots but you should take care to always maintain physical distancing and hand hygiene. You should also try not to use toilets and other shared facilities (where they are available).

Social Distancing

You should maintain a 2 metre distance where possible, because the risk of transmission is small at this distance.

If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1 metre distance where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

Help keep yourself, other passengers and transport staff safe, by taking the following precautions:

  • limit the number of people or households that you come into contact with, for example by avoiding the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour

  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • use a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs
  • avoid touching your face
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • touch as few surfaces as possible
  • stay outdoors, rather than indoors, where possible
  • minimise the time spent close to other people, where possible
  • avoid loud talking, shouting or singing
  • dispose of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings

Face Coverings

A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth. Surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment (PPE) should continue to be reserved for people who need to wear them at work.

Face coverings are not a substitute for maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Where you must wear face coverings

It is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on public transport. Such as, on a:

  • bus or coach
  • train or tram

  • ferry or hovercraft or other vessel

  • aircraft

  • cable car

If you do not wear a face covering in these settings you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

These laws apply while you are in England. If travelling from any other UK nation, you will be required to wear a face covering when you enter England, regardless of the rules in the nation you are transiting from.

Other areas you should wear a face covering

You are strongly encouraged to also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, or where there are people you do not normally meet. For example, in taxis and private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.

The rule applies in situations where individuals from different households or support bubbles could be travelling together on a service such as a charter boat, but not if you are giving a lift to someone from another household or support bubble in your private car.

In England, face coverings are also mandatory in:

  • shops and supermarkets
  • indoor shopping centres

  • banks, building societies, credit unions and post offices

Face covering exemptions

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons.

Government and some operators have produced cards and badges which you can choose to wear to show you are exempt. There is no requirement to do this though, and if you rely on an exemption, transport staff should not ordinarily ask for evidence.

When you can remove your face covering

You should remove your face covering if asked to do so by a police officer or other relevant person.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to.

You are also able to remove your face covering in order to eat and drink in pubs, restaurants or bars in a transport hub. Or if you are in an area within a transport hub where seating or tables are made available specifically for the purposes of eating and drinking, such as a food court.

It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering. For longer journeys, take more than one face covering and a plastic bag for used face coverings.

Please be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Disposing of used face coverings

Use a ‘black bag’ waste bin or litter bin to dispose of face coverings. You should not put face coverings in a recycling bin or drop them as litter.

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