As we face the next few weeks with Covid-19 in our midst, it is important remain calm, positive and healthy. The benefits of walking cannot be underestimated in helping us to care for our physical and mental health. We need these benefits in our lives now more than ever. Seize the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air, admire the buds on the trees and the fresh new growth, the colours of nature in spring, to hear the birds singing and look at the clouds in the sky. For the foreseeable future it is vital that we make a conscious effort to respect the advice given by the HSE and the WHO. It is our responsibility to adhere to all the guidelines outlined and to focus on our own personal health. In doing so we will save lives.

To protect yourself and others:
• Avoid walking in crowded areas. If a walking trail is busy, visit at a quieter time.
• Walk during off peak hours
• If you feel unwell or have any symptoms however slight, please stay at home and contact your GP.
• Think of others when parking and don’t block entrances. Leave room for the emergency services to pass.
• When walking outdoors it is crucial that we maintain the physical distancing requirements. We must leave a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing or sneezing.
• Do not walk as part of a group as the risk of virus transmission is increased.
• Practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or preferably with a tissue. Discard the tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser or with soap and water.
• Before and after your walk, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
• Keep hydrated and do not share your water bottle!
• Your dog must remain on a lead for the duration of your walk. Refrain from allowing people to stroke your dog.
• Leave no litter and follow the Leave No Trace guidelines.

The benefits of walking are on your doorstep. Please be responsible and adhere to the social distancing requirements. We will get through this together, one step at a time. Stay safe and take care.

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