Although many coronavirus restrictions have eased, some regulations remain in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The current regulations will be reviewed on 10th June 2021.
The following information has been taken from NI Direct and applies specifically to undertaking outdoor recreation:
- Travel: You should avoid visiting places where there is a chance that large numbers of people will gather and crowds will form. If you go somewhere and there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult, consider going somewhere else instead.
- Outdoor Gatherings: Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors. You should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
- Outdoor Areas, Visitor Attractions & Activity Centres: Outdoor visitor attractions, activity centres, parks, play areas, outdoor areas of properties operated by the National Trust and the outdoor areas of stately homes, historic homes and castles are permitted to open.
- Outdoor Exercise & Sports:
- Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can take part in unstructured outdoor exercise or sports activities. This might include football in the park or other leisure type activities.
- Up to 15 people (including coaches) can take part in structured outdoor sports events, organised through clubs or individuals affiliated to recognised sport’s governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity.
- Sports preparing for team competition may merge a small number of training groups to form a training squad but this squad size must be kept to the minimum number essential for this purpose.
- Competitive outdoor sport can be organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated, with numbers (including participants, officials, management and essential support personnel) not exceeding 100 and no spectators permitted.
- Outdoor sports facilities can re-open but only to permit their use for those allowed in the regulations. Club houses and indoor sports facilities (changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must stay closed.
- The return to sport protocols put in place by sport’s governing bodies should be strictly adhered to including hygiene measures, social distancing and other mitigations. Sport NI has provided further guidance for governing bodies / representative organisations on the Pathway out of Restrictions for Outdoor Sport.
Spending time outdoors can significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing. To stay safe outdoors, you should follow the ‘Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place’ guidance by:
- Planning ahead – check if your destination will be open and what facilities are available
- Respecting the emergency services – now is not the time to end up in hospital
- Scaling back your ambitions – choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities
- Parking with care – careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents
- Avoiding peak times and popular sites to help maintain social distancing
- Bringing and using hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
- Respecting the wishes of landowners, local communities and other users of the site
- Keeping at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or bubble where possible
- Not leaving your house if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you are self-isolating
- Taking your litter home with you
- Keeping your dog under control
- Enjoying nature but do not disturb it
- Only starting fires in designated BBQ areas
For the most up to date status of key outdoor recreation guidelines please visit NI Direct.