Following on from the government’s guidance on social distancing in relation to COVID-19, people should avoid travelling unless it is essential.

Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.

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Guidance on protecting yourself and others when exercising outdoors

The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home. However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing.  Current government advice on coronavirus is that people without symptoms or health vulnerabilities can exercise or go for a walk outdoors if they stay the recommended two metres away from others.

The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others from people using paths and trails is considered to be very low as long as people follow the Government’s instructions to maintain social distancing. So, please though follow this advice:

  • Ideally walk on your own or with someone 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 two metres distance from anyone you meet during your walk.
  • Avoid touching gates and fences and sitting on benches; wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
  • Please leave gates as you find them (they may be open or closed for a reason). Gates to the Nature Trails on St Mary’s have been tied open by the Wildlife Trust to make access easier and the bird hides are locked because of the physical distancing issues.
  • Remember your dogs can act like any other surface and the virus can be passed by other people stroking them, so please keep your dog on a lead when there are other people around and ensure you can keep your dog safely away from other people and any livestock.
  • If you do handle an animal, such as a dog or horse, remember to wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try not to walk anywhere or do anything that could get you into trouble and require the emergency services.

There are many ways in which natural beauty can have an uplifting and calming influence. With all the worrying news stories being shared, taking a breather and enjoying what we can of our natural world is so important to our health and wellbeing. So please enjoy your exercise but do so safety and with due care and thought for others.