Why we can walk in groups of 6+

The basis for organising group walks for more than 6 people in a Covid-secure way

Why can larger group walks take place in England, given the ‘rule of six’ restrictions on social gatherings?

The government has confirmed that ‘organised physical activities’ such as Ramblers group walks can continue, as long as they are organised in a COVID-secure way.
We are operating within a clearly defined framework, outlined in the UK government guidance (section 3.15):
“Can I still participate in sport and physical activity in groups of more than 6?
Adults can continue to take part in outdoor organised sport and licensed physical outdoor activity in groups of more than six, provided it is organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity; and/or involve someone who has received an official license to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance.”

This is an explicit exemption based on expert scientific and medical advice and reflects both the low risk of organised outdoor activities and the important health and well-being benefits of people staying active outdoors.

Considerable work has been taking place by the Ramblers Association, the National Body for walking, ‘behind the scenes’, so that larger group walks can be organised in this way. The Ramblers developed a proposal to outline how organised walks will be COVID-secure, and worked alongside government and partners to share best practice – including the ‘Return to Play’ team at Sport England.

Cambridge Rambling Club has followed all of the necessary protocols and put extra measures in place to reduce the risks of COVID-19 – enabling us to meet the guidance from central government. This means that we can continue to organise group walks for up to 30 people, as long as these follow specific guidance on how to restart walks in a COVID-secure way.

However, it’s important to remember that the decision on whether to restart is completely up to you and your group. We’re following the government guidelines closely, and the Ramblers will be in touch if anything changes.

Things we must do. We are planning to restart walks – what do we need to do differently?
If you are ready to restart group walks, there are five things that you must do:

  • Walk leaders must complete a risk assessment for each walk, using our checklist.
  •  Walks must be advertised in advance. 
  • Groups must have a plan in place to limit group size up to 30 people. 
  • Groups must have a record of who has attended the walk to support contact tracing. 
  • Groups must follow the government guidelines on physical distancing

October 2020

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