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Leave No Trace Guidelines for Getting Outdoors Responsibly & Safely During Covid-19 Pandemic

24th March 2020
A canal lock gate in Dublin A canal lock gate in Dublin Photo: Waterways Ireland

Outdoor ethics programme Leave No Trace Ireland has published a set of simple guidelines for getting outdoors responsibly and safely amid the Covid-19 crisis.

“Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that collectively, we use the outdoors responsibly, taking care of each other and taking care of our local environs, our magnificent wildlife, our lands and waters,” the programme said.

“As seen in the media, overcrowding at popular outdoor beauty spots, lack of social distancing, increased disturbance of wildlife and vegetation, rubbish left behind, are all indicators that outdoor use is up but we are not caring for our outdoor spaces as we should be.

“Following Leave No Trace Guidelines ensures we are being collectively responsible in our use of outdoor spaces, protecting ourselves, our families, our fellow citizens and our incredible island.”

Leave No Trace Ireland’s guidelines are:

  • Plan Ahead: Check weather, bring proper clothing and footwear, water and food. Park and walk responsibly.
  • Expect Closures: Before leaving home, consider lack of usual facilities such as toilets, shops, cafes, restaurants.
  • Stay Home or Local: Unwell? Don't go! Feeling well? Look for local trails, hidden gems, explore closer to home.
  • Be Considerate: Maintain social distancing throughout the day. Keep group sizes small. There is plenty of space in the outdoors for everyone!
  • Time and Place: Find those hidden gems, avoid peak times, avoid difficult routes. Adhere to HSE guidelines.
  • Leave No Trace: Don't rely on or add to already overburdened services. Bring your own rubbish home.
  • Be Dog-Responsible: Keep dogs under control. Mind out for young wildlife. Pick up and bring home dog waste.

Leave No Trace Ireland also reminds of its seven principles: prepare for spring weather conditions, stick to trails, dispose of waste properly, minimise fire impacts, leave what you find, keep a safe distance from wildlife, and be considerate of others.

If you are well, remain active through outdoor pursuits, but do your part and comply with the latest Government guidelines issued by the HSE in the Republic of Ireland and the HSC Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland. For more up to date information and advice about coronavirus (Covd-19), visit www2.hse.ie/coronavirus

For ideas on where to find inspiration for safe and responsible outdoor activities, see LeaveNoTraceIreland.org and share these ideas with friends and family on social media #LeaveNoTrace #WeLoveNature

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Irish Sailing & Boating

Since restrictions began in March 2020, the Government is preparing for a 'controlled and gradual return to sport' and the 2020 sailing fixtures are being tentatively redrafted by yacht clubs, rowing clubs angling and diving clubs across Ireland as the country enters a new phase in dealing with the Coronavirus. The hope is that a COVID-19 restrictions might be eased by May 5th as Sport Ireland has asked national governing bodies for information on the challenges they face. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) everyone has been asked to stay at home. But some people may need to do more than this.

You may need to either:

You do these things to stop other people from getting coronavirus.

Read advice for people in at-risk groups

Read advice about cocooning.

Restricted movements

Everybody in Ireland has been asked to stay at home. You should only go out for a few reasons, such as shopping for food.

But you need to restrict your movements further if you: 

  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, but you feel well
  • are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus
  • have returned to Ireland from another country

You need to restrict your movements for at least 14 days.

But if the person you live with has had a test and it is negative, you don't need to wait 14 days. You should still follow the advice for everyone - stay at home as much as possible.

Close contact

This is only a guide but close contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person

How to restrict your movements 

Follow the advice for everybody - stay at home.

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