On the right road

Restrictions eased to allow more opportunities for outdoor exercise

Confirmation of the further easing of lockdown restrictions as part of the Scottish Government’s phased exit out of lockdown has been warmly welcomed by members of Scotland’s outdoor community.

As of today (Friday 3 July), the stay local (broadly 5-mile) travel restriction has been lifted allowing people greater opportunities to take part in outdoor physical activity and exercise. As a result, those who take part in variety of outdoor pursuits can now travel out with their local area as part of their recreational activities.

While the restrictions have been lifted, people are still required to adhere to the latest public health information including physical distancing/group sizes and number of households. It is also vital that people travel responsibly and consider any localised travel restrictions that may be in place.*   

Chief Operating Officer at sportscotland, Forbes Dunlop, said:

“We know it has been a challenging time for many people and we are grateful for their continued support and understanding as we move through the route map.

“Public health and wellbeing remains the most pressing priority and we encourage people to continue to play their part in helping suppress the spread of the virus by ensuring they adhere to the latest guidelines.”

Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy said: “Experienced ramblers and those who have discovered a love of walking during lockdown are all bursting to venture further afield. While being outdoors is the best way to avoid coronavirus besides staying home, we must take a few extra steps to protect each other, respect the communities we are visiting and care for the places we love to walk.

“Make sure you are familiar with the Scottish Government’s new guidance as well as the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, plan ahead to avoid the busiest places and be prepared to find many facilities still closed."

Graeme McLean, Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, said: “The mountain bike community are looking forward to being able to travel further to visit favourite trails and locations. We very much welcome the opportunity to do so and are aware of the need to still protect vulnerable communities and people. 

“We are urging mountain bikers, through our guidance, to carefully plan their ride or trip and be mindful of other outdoor user groups and respect any reasonable instructions from landowners. We have set up a web page containing details about all the Scottish trail centres, showing if the facility is open, closed or giving the date it will open. This will be updated on a regular basis and will assist the mountain bike community in making choices on where to travel.”

Chief Executive of Mountaineering Scotland Stuart Younie, said: “The lifting of the travel restriction is great news for Mountaineering Scotland members, hill walkers and climbers across Scotland, most of whom have been unable to access the hills and mountains during the last 3 months.

“We urge anyone heading to the hills to be ‘COVID aware’, to plan ahead, to stay safe and to enjoy their activities safely, responsibly whilst continuing to protect themselves and the communities they may be visiting.” 

* Due to current outbreak, the advice and guidance to people living in the postcode areas of DG16 (Gretna), DG12 (Annan), DG1 and DG2 (Dumfries), DG11 (Lockerbie), DG13 (Langholm) and DG14 (Canonbie) are being asked to travel no more than 5 miles while efforts to manage the outbreak continue. This advice does not apply to essential travel.

Holidaymakers from other areas who have booked self-catering accommodation in these postcodes are still able to take up their reservations but must adhere to these travel restrictions once they arrive.

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About the latest guidelines.


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