Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Using public rights of way and Coronavirus

2 min read

The restrictions on movement announced by the government now apply to public rights of way and the countryside access network.

The best advice is to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Many of us will still want to enjoy the countryside, especially now it is spring. The outdoors is a great place for exercise which has numerous benefits for health and well-being, especially at a time when we all face social isolation and anxiety.

However, we all must adhere to government rules and advice for the safety of all.

Please also be aware that some people live in very close proximity to public rights of way, a common example being farmers and farm workers. Please consider their need for social distancing, treat each other with respect and be aware that some of these people may be in self-isolation because of illness or other vulnerabilities.

The rules to adhere to are:

1. Only use your local public rights of way network for lawful access which is to exercise once a day and for routes to food shops or when essential for work.

2. Do not drive or travel to sites/car parks.

3. Keep 2 metres (6 feet) spacing between yourself and others you may meet on the paths

4. Don’t arrange to meet other families or form groups larger than two to share your exercise, walk or ride

5. Carry, use and take home all rubbish including tissues and other health products.

6. Although there’s no evidence of human-animal transference of coronavirus, avoid contact with other families’ dogs and farm livestock as part of social distancing

Please continue to use the public rights of way network for exercise and essential journeys responsibly. If you encounter any problems please email rightsofway@iow.gov.uk However, please bear in mind that unless the problem is urgent resolution will be delayed due to staff unavailability.