We are the Brighton and Hove group of the national Ramblers. Walking and socialising in and around the South East of England.

Dear BAHR member,

Following the government's announcements of 14th September of the 'rule of six' and this week's further restrictions I am contacting you to clarify the situation as regards Ramblers and our local group. The latest guidelines issued by Ramblers on 23rd September is as follows:

The good news is that organised outdoor physical activities can continue – as long as they follow all the government guidance, to be organised in a COVID-secure way. I’m happy to confirm that this includes Ramblers’ group walks, for groups of up to 30 people.

This is an explicit exemption based on expert scientific and medical advice – which reflects the low risk, and huge health and well-being benefits that these activities bring. We are operating within a clearly defined framework, outlined in section 3.15 of the UK government guidance:

'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.'

As you may be aware we restarted group walks earlier this month organised to comply with COVID-secure guidelines. It's early days but the feedback from walkers and walks leaders has been very positive particularly regarding the booking system which seems to be working smoothly. This is, however, a work in progress and we will change and modify how we run group walks based on experience and latest Ramblers guidelines.

For those of you who are still unsure be this regarding booking, social distancing or contact tracing I would say 'give it a go'! Group walks are up and running, working smoothly and are safe. Whatever your decision above all please keep walking and enjoying our wonderful countryside.

Stay safe and keep positive!

Stuart Ellis (Chair) and BAHR Committee

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