The government of the Republic of Ireland has decided that, as of midnight on Wednesday 21 October, all of Ireland will be placed on Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID with a small number of exceptions. This action is based on current public health advice. Level 5 restrictions will remain in place for a period of 6 weeks. To find the most up to date information on what Level 5 means please visit gov.ie
As we enter Level 5 and head into winter it is important that we all continue to get outdoors as much as possible within our 5km area. Being outdoors is safer, boosts immunity as well as protects our mental and physical health.
The outdoors is our escape, somewhere to step away from the news cycle and gain some sense of normality. We need to pull together now and protect our nature, our wildlife, our local spaces so that we continue to have somewhere beautiful, natural, and available to all the people to enjoy.
Leave No Trace Ireland have published a set of simple guidelines for getting outdoors responsibly and safely.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Before you head outdoors check the status of the place you wish to visit. While many trails, parks and beaches continue to remain open it is always better to check in advance.
- Remember to stay within your 5km limit.
- Remain at least 2 metres from other visitors
- Bring a reusable mask or face covering to protect others and yourself
- Stay at home if you are feeling unwell
- Check the weather forecast
- Wear appropriate clothing – as we head into winter weather can change quickly; be prepared for your activity type and length of time you plan to stay outdoors. Wear layers to stay warm and rain gear to keep you dry.
- Before leaving home, consider any lack of usual facilities such as toilets, shops, cafes, and restaurants.
- Pack lunch, and bring essentials like water, hand sanitizer and a face covering with you.
- If facilities are open leave them clean and fit for use by others
Dispose of Waste Properly
- With limited staff and services, waste and recycling bins may not be emptied as often or at all. Overflowing bins result in litter and can be a hazard to both other visitors and wildlife. Be prepared to pack your rubbish and recyclable waste out with you and bring home to dispose of properly.
- Use reusable face coverings and help reduce litter caused by PPE.
Avoid Times and Places of High Use
- Avoid crowded parks, trails and beaches or ensure that you can practice social distancing while visiting a busy area within your 5km.
- Try to have a Plan B for getting outside if you arrive to find your outdoor destination particularly busy.
- Be mindful of your impact on the area you visit.
Practice Leave No Trace
- Just because times are tough and outdoor resources may be limited doesn’t mean that the Leave No Trace Seven Principles should be forgotten.
- Be dog responsible and pick up your pet’s waste.
- Never leave dog waste bags in the environment even if there aren’t rubbish bins handy.
- When stepping off a trail to physically distance try to find a rock or other durable surface to stand on instead of walking far off the trail to pass and potentially creating new trails. Do your best to eliminate impacts.
Be Considerate to Other Visitors
- Face coverings, physical distancing, managing your dog and a friendly wave when passing go a long way right now.
- Try to walk or cycle to your destination and if using your car be considerate when parking.
- Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer.
- Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all.
#Love This Place #Leave No Trace