Updated on 13th December 2021
Although many coronavirus restrictions have eased, regulations and guidance remain in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Continue to protect yourself and others by following public health advice.
The following information has been taken from NI Direct and applies specifically to undertaking outdoor recreation:
- Travel: You should avoid visiting places where there is a chance that large numbers of people will gather and crowds will form. If you go somewhere and there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult, consider going somewhere else instead.
- Outdoor Gatherings: Outdoor gatherings of 30 people or fewer do not need a risk assessment. You should maintain social distancing as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
- Outdoor Sport: All outdoor sport, whether organised formally by your local sports club or informally by a group of friends, is permitted. To determine the maximum number of people permitted to attend or participate in an outdoor sporting activity/event, the organiser or operator must carry out a risk assessment. Outdoor sporting activities/events of 30 people or fewer do not need a risk assessment. Any behaviour which may encourage the risk of transmission around sports activities, such as car sharing, congregation of people on the side-lines and sporting celebrations, should be avoided.
Spending time outdoors can significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing. To stay safe outdoors, you should always follow the ‘Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place’ guidance alongside government protocols and public health guidelines by:
- Being prepared – check the site and facilities you need will be open before you leave home
- Planning ahead – wear appropriate clothing and footwear, bring the right kit, choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities and check the weather forecast
- Parking with care – go early to get a car parking space as careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents
- Choosing quiet locations – avoid peak times and popular sites to help maintain social distancing and have a plan B if the site is full when you arrive
- Bringing and using hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
- Sharing the space with all – respect staff, volunteers and signage and other users of the site and avoid gathering around key areas such as car parks, information points etc.
- Taking your litter and dog waste home with you
- Keeping your dog under control – stop it from approaching other people and their dogs, cyclists and wildlife and avoid bringing dogs to areas where livestock are present
- Enjoying nature but don’t disturb it – watch wildlife from a distance, stay invisible, quiet and don’t stay long
- Avoiding starting open fires and only light a barbecue in a designated barbecue area
- Only camping in designated camping areas
For more information on enjoying healthy and inspiring visits to our outdoors please visit NI Direct.